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I. The " Quaker Lady " 9 

II. A Monkey, a Puppy, and a Beggar . . 27 

III. The Silver Inkstand 48 

IV. Lily's Proverb Picture 69 

V. Promising 84 

VI. But not Performing 100 

VII. What came of that 120 

VIII. A Little Fable 142 

IX. Saturday Morning's Work 156 

X. Saturday Afternoon's Play 177 

XI. A Sad Accident 198 

XII. Lily's New Resolve 220 




jF LILY NORRIS isn't just the most 
provoking child that ever lived ! " 
said Maggie Bradford, indignantly. 
" Yes, I b'lieve she just is," assented Bessie. 
" Why," said Mrs. Bush, who was that day 
making a visit to Maggie's and Bessie's mam- 
ma, " how is this ? Lily the most provoking 
child that ever lived ! I thought Lily was one 
of your best friends, and that you were so fond 
of her." 

"Yes, Aunt May, so we are," said Maggie. 

io Lily Norrif Enemy. 

" We're very fond of Lily indeed ; she's one of 
our dearly beloveds, and we like to have her 
with us ; but for all that, she's very trying to 
our patience." 

" Yes," sighed Bessie, " I think she's try- 
inger than any child we know ; and yet she's 
hardly ever naughty, — really naughty, I mean." 

" How does she try you ? " asked Mrs. Rush, 
though she believed she could herself have 
answered as to the cause of complaint. 

" She puts off so," said Bessie. " Aunt May, 
I think she's the greatest put-offer we ever 
saw ; and sometimes it makes things so hard 
to bear. We try not to be provoked 'cause 
we love her so ; but sometimes we can't help 
being a little. I b'lieve it troubles people 
as much as if she was real naughty in some 

" Yes, procrastination is a very troublesome 
fault," said Mrs. Rush. 

"Not a fault, is it, Aunt May?" asked 
Maggie. " I thought it was only a habit of 

The "Quaker Lady." n 

"And Lily is a pretty good child," said 
Belle Powers. " She is mischievous, and 
makes us laugh in school sometimes; but I 
b'iieve that is about all the naughty things she 
does, and I think that is a pretty good account 
for one child." 

"Putting off is not being naughty, is it, 
Aunt May ? " pleaded Bessie, unwilling, even 
amid her vexation, to have one of her favorite 
playmates thus blamed. 

" Well, darling," answered Mrs. Rush, " I 
fear that procrastination and a want of punc- 
tuality must be considered as rather serious 
faults. I see you are vexed and troubled now ; 
why, I cannot tell, more than that Lily has 
caused it in some way ; and I think that any 
habit which needlessly tries and irritates other 
people can be called nothing less than a fault, 
and a bad one, too. What is the matter now ? " 

" Why," said Bessie, " you see we are all 
going to the party at Miss Ashton's this after- 
noon, and Lily was to be here at four o'clock 
to go with us ; and when grandmamma was 

12 Lily JVornV Enemy. 

going home just now, she said she would take 
us all around in her carriage ; but Lily was 
not here, and we did not like to go without 
her, and grandmamma could not wait. But 
grandmamma said the carriage should come 
back for us, and it has ; and mamma says it is 
twenty minutes past four, and there Lily has 
not come yet, and we don't know what to do, 
and we can't help being provoked." 

" It is just good enough for her to go, and 
leave her to come after by herself," said Belle, 
with a pout. 

" But you see that would not be so very 
polite," said Bessie ; " and we have to be that 
even if we are pretty provoked." 

"I should think people might be punctual 
when they're going to a party, anyway," said 
Maggie, impatiently. " The idea of being so 
wasteful of a party! I never heard of such 
foolishness! I should think that people who 
couldn't be punctual at parties, and go just 
as soon as they are invited, didn't desert 
to go at all." 

The "Quaker Lady." 13 

"I should think her mother would send 
her in time," said Mabel Walton, Belle's 

" Well, I suppose she would," said Maggie ; 
" but you know she has gone away just now, 
and there's no one at home to make Lily think 
about the time. Mrs. Norris doesn't have 
such a bad habit herself, and she don't like 
Lily to have it either. She is always talking 
to her about it." 

" What are you going to do, Maggie ? " 
asked Bessie, as she saw her sister take up a 
pencil and a. bit of paper, and carry them to 
Mrs. Rush. 

"lam going to ask Aunt May to do a sum 
for me," said Maggie. " Aunt May, will you 
please do the sum of four times twenty min- 
utes, and tell me how much it is ? " 

" I do not want the paper, Maggie," said 
Mrs. Rush, smiling as she saw what Maggie 
would be at. " Four times twenty minutes 
are eighty minutes, or one hour and twenty 

14 Lily JVorrzs' Enemy. 

" Why do you want to know that ? " asked 

" I'm going to tell Lily a story when she 
comes, and let her take lesson by it for her- 
self," said Maggie, rather severely ; the severity 
being intended, however, for the delinquent 
Lily, and not for Belle. 

" Children," said Mrs. Bradford, coming 
into the room just at this moment, " I do not 
want you to keep the carriage waiting. Since 
Lily is not here you must go without her. It 
is long after the time fixed." 

" Oh yes, mamma, we know that ; I should 
think we might," said Maggie, with a sigh of 

" There's the door-bell now," said Bessie, 
who was more patient under her afflictions 
than the other children. " Maybe that is 

So it proved ; and a moment later Lily was 
shown into the room, followed by her nurse. 
A chorus of exclamations and reproaches 
greeted the little new-comer; but she took 

The li Quaker Lady J 1 15 

them all with her usual careless good-nature, 
though she did look half ashamed, too. Maggie, 
alone, mindful of the arrow she held in 
reserve, had nothing to say beyond a word 
or two of welcome. 

" Yes, just what I was saying to Miss Lily, 
that the young ladies would *be disappointed to 
be kept waiting, ma'am," said the nurse, speak- 
ing to Mrs. Bradford; " and I came in to beg 
you'd not think it was my fault. I was at Miss 
Lily a half-hour before I could coax her to 
come and be dressed ; and I knew she'd be late 
and vex them." 

" Oh, never mind. You can go now," said 
Lily, carelessly. " We'll be time enough." 

" Come, let us go now," said Maggie, with 
an expression which showed that she by no 
means agreed with Lily that it was " time 
enough ; " and good-by being said to mamma 
and Mrs. Rush, she led the way from the room, 
followed by the rest of the young party, who 
were soon seated snugly in the carriage. 
" Lily," said Maggie, as soon as they had 

1 6 Lily NorriJ Enemy. 

fairly started, "I have a story to tell you 
about punctuality." 

" Pooh ! I don't want to hear about your 
old punctuality," said Lily. " Everybody just 
bothers me 'most to death about being punctual. 
Tom has been making a fuss about it just 

" But it is a story, — one of Maggie's stories," 
said Belle, who thought it quite incredible that 
any one should decline an opportunity of hear- 
ing one of those interesting and valuable 

" Let's hear it then," said Lily. 

" It is not a story of my own making up," 
said Maggie, with the solemnity which befitted 
a teacher of moral lessons ; " but it is very inter- 
esting, and may do some good, if people choose 
to let it. But as there are ' none so deaf as those 
who won't hear,' so I suppose there are none so 
hard to teach as those who won't be taught." 

" But what is the story ? " asked Belle. 

" The story is this," answered Maggie. 
" Once thirteen ladies went to a meeting, or 

The "Jguaker Lady." 9 17 

ought to go to a meeting. Well, twelve of 
them came at the right time to the house 
of a very wise old Quaker lady, where the 
meeting was ; but the thirteenth lady did 
not come for a quarter of an hour after she 
ought to. So the other ladies were as tired as 
they could be, 'cause they couldn't begin to do 
what they had to do without her — but I 
would have if I'd been there — and some of 
them yawned — which wasn't polite for them 
to do, but they could hardly help it — and some 
went to sleep, and some had headaches, and 
one who was sitting in a breeze from the window, 
where she didn't like to sit, took cold, and had 
a sore throat and a toothache, and she had to 
go and have her tooth out ; which was all the 
fault of the unpunctual lady, and I should 
think she'd be very much ashamed of herself." 

" So should I," said Mabel, as Maggie paused 
to take breath. 

" What's the rest of the story ? " asked 
Bessie, impatient of delay in such a thrilling 

i8 Lily JVornY Enemy, 

" Well, when she came in," continued Mag- 
gie, giving point to her story by the look she 
fixed upon Lily, — " when she came in, after 
doing such a lot of mischief, she didn't seem 
to think it was any great harm after all ; but 
she just said, ' Ladies, I am sorry I kept you 
waiting, but it is only a quarter of an hour/ 
Then the wise old Quaker lady stood up and 
looked very severe at her, and she said, ' Friend, 
thee ' — thee is the way Quakers say you — 
' Friend, thee has wasted three hours of time 
that did not belong to thee. Here are twelve 
of us, and a quarter of an hour for each makes 
three hours, and you — thee, I mean — had no 
right to do it, and thee ought to be ashamed of 
yourself.' And the lady was ashamed of her- 
self, 'cause it made her feel horridly to be 
talked to that way before so many people ; and 
she never did so again, which was a great 
blessing to every one who knew her, because 
she made herself a great inconvenience." 

And here Maggie closed her story, which she 
had one day lately found in some book or paper, 

The "£>uaker Lady." 19 

and had brought it up on this occasion for 
Lily's benefit, adding to it sundry embellish- 
ments of her own, which, as she thought, made 
it more telling and serviceable. 

" But," said Lily, who took the moral to her- 
self as it was intended she should do, " but 
we're not a meeting, and you're not a Quaker 
lady, Maggie. It's only a party." 

" Only a party ! " echoed Maggie, in an 
aggrieved tone, which told that this was adding 
insult to injury ; " she says, ' Only a party ' ! 
Now, Lily, I don't want to hurt your feelings, 
but I just want to tell you something." 

And Maggie held up the bit of paper on 
which she had taken the pains to note down 
the sum Mrs. Rush had done for her, lest she 
should forget the number of minutes. 

" You kept us waiting more than twenty 
minutes, Lily. Miss Ashton invited us at four, 
and you did not come till twenty minutes after ; 
and there are four of us besides yourself, so 
there's one whole hour, and forty minutes, — 
which is 'most three-quarters of an hour, — one 

20 Lily JVornY Enemy. 

whole hour and forty minutes of party wasted, 
and only twenty minutes of it was your own." 

" And I'm sure it's a great deal harder to have 
a party wasted than it is a meeting," said Belle. 

" I never thought about it," said Lily, by no 
means offended, but considerably astonished 
at the way in which her short-comings were 
brought home to her. " I never thought of 
that, and I'm real sorry. I'll never do it 

" Did the lady with the toothache ever tell 
the late lady she made her have it ? " asked 

" Well, I'm not very sure," said Maggie, not 
willing to confess to total ignorance on this 
subject ; " but I think she did." 

" Then she wasn't very kind," said Bessie. 
" It would have been kinder if she hadn't 
spoken about it. She had lesson enough. I 
think that old Quaker lady was pretty cross, 
and I'm glad she's not my grandmamma." 

" Maggie," said Lily, as the carriage drew 
up at Miss Ashton's door, " couldn't you make 

The "Shiaker Lady." 21 

me a proverb picture about putting off? I 
would like one ever so much." 

For Lily took great delight in these same 
" proverb pictures," and was very glad to 
receive one even when it held up her own fail- 
ings to reproof. 

"Is there any proverb about putting off ?" 
asked Belle. 

" Yes, to be sure," said Lily. " There's 
' Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.' " 

"Um — I don't know," said Maggie, doubt- 
ful if this adage were quite applicable to the 
case in question. " I don't think that will do ; 
but if we can't find one, we'll make one, and 
draw you a proverb picture about it. I'll ask 
mamma if she knows of any that will do." 

" And make it for me very soon, will you ? " 
said Lily, jumping from the carriage with the 
assistance of Mrs. Ashton's maid, who had 
come to take them out. " I'll try to have it 
do me some good." 

This was encouraging, and Maggie's imagina- 
tion was at once put to work ; but not to much 

22 Lily JVorris' Enemy, 

purpose for this evening, since as yet she knew 
of no proverb that would answer for the object 
she had in view. 

Our young party was greeted with a chorus 
of welcome, not only from Mrs. and Miss 
Ashton, but also from the other little girls who 
had all arrived before them ; for children are 
generally punctual to such engagements, 
whatever their elders may be. Indeed, they 
usually prefer to be before, rather than after 
the time. 

" How late you came ! " 

" What kept you ? " 

"It's more than half-past four ! " 

" We've been here ever so long." 

u We've been waiting for you " — and such 
like exclamations met them on all sides. 

" It's my fault," said Lily. " I was not 
ready in time, and kept them waiting." 

" Lily ! " said Carrie Ransom. " You 
always do keep people waiting." 

" Well, I can't help it," said Lily. 

" Yes, you can," said Gracie Howard ; " at 

The "giiaker Lady? 23 

least, you could if you would do tilings in time ; 
but you never will." 

" I'll grow out of it when I'm bigger," said 
Lily. " People 'most always cure up their 
faults before they're grown up." 

" Not if they don't take pains with them when 
they're little," said Bessie, solemnly. " Lily, if 
you keep on per-cas-ter-nating now, maybe you 
won't be able to help it when you're grown up, 
and then people will be provoked with you." 

" Were you much provoked with me to-day? " 
asked Lily. 

" Um-m, pretty," said Bessie ; " but we're 
quite over it now." 

" Well, I don't care much then," was Lily's 
thought ; but she said aloud, " I don't think it 
can do much harm when we're little. You see 
we're all here now. But I will begin pretty 
soon to correct myself of it." 

" She had better begin to-day," thought 
Bessie ; but no more was said on the subject, 
and they were all soon engaged in a merry 
game of play. 

24 Lily JVbrris 9 Enemy, 

The party passed off pleasantly, so pleasantly 
that Maggie found more and more cause fur 
regret that she and her own particular friends 
had been unjustly defrauded, as she considered 
it, of so large a portion of it ; but she was too 
forgiving and good-natured to reproach Lily 
any farther, especially as Bessie privately 
confided to her that she did not like " that 
severe old Quaker lady one bit, and am very 
glad that she is not one of my friends." 

Maggie thought that perhaps she had been 
rather severe herself, and took pains to be espe- 
cially agreeable to Lily for the rest of the day. 

But perhaps this ready forgetfulness of their 
vexation was not the best thing for heedless, 
light-hearted Lily. At first she had felt a little 
self-reproachful, but when she saw the other 
children forget their momentary displeasure, 
she thought her own troublesome want of 
punctuality did not matter much after all ; 
they were all glad and happy now, and some 
of these days she would try to break herself 
of this bad habit. 

The " Shiaker Lady." 25 

Ah ! you see, that was Lily's way ; it was 
always " one of these days," " some other 
time," " by and by ; " and here lay the root of 
the trouble which proved so vexatious to those 
about her, and very often to herself. 

" Mamma," said Maggie, as soon as they 
reached home, " do you know of any proverb 
that would be a good correction of the habit of 
putting off, and never being ready in time ? " 

Mrs. Bradford laughed. 

" Yes, I think I do, Maggie. What do you 
want to do with it ? " 

"To make a proverb picture for Lily, 
mamma; she wants us to. She likes our 
proverb pictures very much, and never is pro- 
voked when we give her one. And I think I 
shall write her a piece of poetry about it too. 
What is the proverb, mamma ? " 

" I will tell you in the morning, dear." 

" Why not to-night, mamma ? " 

" Because I want you to go to sleep now, 
Maggie. If I tell you a proverb to-night, you 
will lie awake, turning it over in your mind, and 

26 Lily JVorrz's 9 Enemy. 

making verses and pictures for it ; and I do not 
wish you to do that. Wait till morning, dear." 

Maggie submitted, like the docile and obedi- 
ent little girl she was, though she was disap- 
pointed ; for as mamma knew, she would have 
liked to spend part of her proper sleeping time 
in composing verses, and inventing pictures for 
Lily's benefit. 

" Shall you make the poetry a divine song, 
or a moral poem ? " asked Bessie, who took the 
greatest possible interest and pride in Maggie's 
poetical attempts. 

" I think I'll mix the two," said Maggie, 
after a little deliberation. " It might be better, 
because Lily don't care much to read things 
that are very pious ; but she needs them a 
little. Yes, I'll do that." 

And now, according to mamma's orders, 
they ceased talking ; and Maggie, obeying not 
only the letter, but the spirit of her mother's 
command, tried to put from her all thought of 
the lesson she was to teach Lily, and both 
she and Bessie were soon fast asleep. 



ILY ! " 

" Yes, mamma ! " 
" Can I trust you to do something 
for me ? " 

" Yes, indeed, mamma ! you know I like to 
help you." 

" I want it done immediately, dear." 

" Oh, yes, mamma, I'm ready. I'll do it right 

Mrs. Norris sat at the library table, writing. 
As she said the last words she hastily folded 
the note she had just finished, and slipped it 
into its envelope ; then, as she put the address 
upon it, she said, — 

28 Lily JVprriV Enemy. 

" I have an appointment to keep, Lily ; and 
there is Mrs. Bradford now, I believe. I am 
going with her, and I would like you to lay 
these papers smoothly in my writing-ease, 
those others in this box, — you know where they 
belong, — and to put my silver inkstand care- 
fully in the secretary. There, I have closed it, 
so you cannot spill the ink. Will you be a 
helpful little girl, and see to that for me, my 
daughter ? " 

" Yes, indeed, mamma," said Lily again. 
" I'm glad you let me do it for you. I'll be 
very careful with the inkstand." 

" And at once, remember, dear," said Mrs. 
Norris, rising from her chair. " I do not wish 
the inkstand left here on the table, or the 
paper to lie scattered about. It will be a great 
help to mamma if you do it nicely. Ah ! 
good afternoon, Mrs. Bradford," as that lady 
was shown into the room. " I am all ready, 
and will not detain you. I had just received 
a note which needed an immediate answer, be- 
fore I left home ; but it is finished, and I shall 

A Afonkey, a Puffy ■, and a Beggar. 29 

trust Lily to put by my writing materials for 

Lily looked up at Mrs. Bradford, rather 
proud of being trusted by her mother ; and the 
lady smiled as she stooped to kiss her. 

" Lily likes to help mamma as well as Maggie 
and Bessie do, I see," she said. 

" Yes : and she can often be of great assist- 
ance when she is prompt and punctual," said 
Mrs. Norris, drawing on her gloves. 

" Are Maggie and Bessie well, Mrs. Brad- 
ford ? " asked Lily. 

" Yes, dear ; and they wished me to ask you 
to come and see them very soon. I do not know 
when they want you to come, for they have, 
some plans to arrange with their Aunt Annie, 
but they will let you know. They are drawing 
some pictures for you, I believe, and want to 
explain it to you." 

" Oh, yes," said Lily ; " they promised me a 
proverb picture, and their proverb pictures are 
so interesting. I should think any one might be 
glad to have them." 

^o Lily JVornV Enemy, 

" They certainly seem to give great satisfac 
tion, both to themselves, and to those whom 
they are intended to benefit," said Mrs. Brad- 
ford, laughing. " Good-by, Lily. The chil- 
dren will see you soon. I gave them leave to 
ask you when they pleased; and you must 
come early, whenever that may be." 

" Thank you, ma'am," said Lily. " I'll come 
just as soon as mamma will let me." 

She followed her mother and Mrs. Bradford 
to the front door, where the former turned, and 
said a little uneasily, — 

" Lily, attend to the inkstand at once, my 

" I am going to, mamma," answered the 
little girl, meaning what she said at the mo- 
ment, though she afterwards came so far short 
of it, as you shall see. 

As the door closed after the two ladies, Lily 
caught the notes of a hand-organ in the street ; 
and running back to the library, she went to 
the window to look out for the strolling musi- 
cian who carried it. 

A Monkey, a Puffy, and a Beggar, 31 

She had not forgotten her mother's orders, 
or the help she had promised to be to her ; 
and as she passed by the table on her way 
to the window, the scattered papers and the 
silver inkstand caught her eye, and reminded 
her of her promise. 

But she did not pause. 

" Just a moment ; I'll put them away in one 
moment," she said to herself. " I'll just look 
and see if that organ man is coming here ; 
'cause I have some pennies in my pocket, and 
I'll give him some. Oh, yes ! there he is, and 
he has a monkey. I like monkey organ men 
the best, 'cause the monkeys are so funny. 
What a funny fellow ! Why, he's 'most the 
cunningest monkey I ever saw ; " and Lily had 
quite forgotten her promise. 

She was in great glee over the monkey, who 
certainly was a droll, though a very ugly little 
beast, as monkeys generally are ; and she 
amused herself with him for some time, as 
he climbed the balcony railings, stoop, and 
blinds, hopped up and down the broad stone 

32 Lily Norrii Enemy. 

steps, and every now and then came close to 
the window where she stood, and mouthed and 
jabbered away at her. Amused though she 
was, she was glad that the glass was between 
her and the grinning creature ; and she always 
took the opportunity of his little excursions 
to open the window and quickly thrust out the 
pennies, for which he immediately sprang 
down, and taking them up in his paw hurried 
with them to his master. Lily treated him 
also to a cake, which he greedily nibbled ; and 
then, seeing that the poor creature lapped his 
tongue upon a damp spot on the stone pave- 
ment, where a little water had been spilled, 
as though he were thirsty, she called a ser- 
vant to bring a cup of water, and gave him a 

Finding that she thus provided entertain- 
ment for man and beast, and that he was reap- 
ing quite a harvest, the organ-grinder stayed 
for some time ; and all the while, the inkstand 
remained unheeded on the table. Not quite 
forgotten, either ; for every now and then the 

A Monkey ■, a Puppy ', and a Beggar. 33 

recollection of it would come to her ; but Lily 
kept saying to herself, " In one minute ; I'm 
going in just one minute. " 

But the one minute multiplied itself into 
twenty before the man moved off with his 
organ and his monkey, and Lily felt at leisure 
to attend to her mother's wishes. 

But it seemed after all that the time had 
not yet come. 

" Miss Lily," said a servant man, putting 
his head in at the library door, " is Master 
Tom at home ? " 

" No, I b'lieve not ; I think he didn't come 
from school yet," answered Lily, with her hand 
on the inkstand. 

" I'd like to know what time he'll be in," said 
the man, lingering, " for my brother is below 
with the puppies Master Tom wanted to see. 
There's a gentleman wants to buy both ; but 
seeing Master Tom had spoken about one if it 
suited, he thought it was only fair to bring 
diem here first, and let him make up his mind. 
But the gentleman must know this afternoon. 


34 Lily Norris Enemy. 

Wouldn't you like to see 'em, Miss Lily? 
They're such pretty little dogs." 

" Yes, indeed I would," answered the child ; 
and she followed the man to the basement hall, 
where his brother waited with the puppies,-- - 
not without another thought of her still un- 
performed duty ; but again she contented 
herself with the excuse, " I shan't be half a 
minute, and the inkstand is shut up. It can't 
spill the ink." 

Alas, alas ! it was long before the recollec 
tion of it again crossed Lily's mind. 

If she had found the monkey bewitching, 
what did she find the little dogs, — playful, 
pretty creatures, which seemed delighted with 
a playmate frolicsome and mischievous as 
themselves ? 

Then her brother Tom came in ; and, hear- 
ing that the dogs were there for his approval, 
came down to look at them and decide which 
he would have. 

Of course Lily must stay and help him to 
make his choice ; and now that vexatious little 

A Monkey, a Puffy, and a Beggar. 35 

feeling that there was something wrong, some 
duty unfulfilled, had altogether passed away. 
Lily was quite at her ease by this time. 

The matter was at last settled ; the dog 
chosen, the man paid and sent away, leaving 
the selected puppy in a very low and melancholy 
state of mind at the parting. He whined and 
cried piteously, first scratching and barking 
at the door where his former owner and his 
puppy brother had passed out ; and at last, 
after refusing to be comforted by all the petting 
that was lavished upon him, retiring into private 
life behind the kitchen coal-scuttle, and reso- 
lutely declining to be coaxed out. 

" Never mind," said Tom, " he'll be all right 
by and by, Lily. Wait till he's hungry, and 
he'll come out and be glad enough to make 
friends. Now I am going to buy a house for 
him. I saw some pretty little dog-houses 
down at Bruner's this morning, and I'll go 
look at them, and see if they'll answer." 

"Oh, Tom ! could I go with you ? " asked Lily. 

" Yes, if you like," said Tom ; " I'll be glad 

36 Lily 2Yorris > Enemy, 

to have you ; only make haste to be dressed 
Lily. Will you go to Nora at once ? " 

" Yes, yes," said Lily, clapping her hands; 
and away she flew to beg her nurse to make 
her ready as soon as possible. 

Nothing presenting itself just then to take 
up her attention, or which looked more attrac- 
tive than the promised walk with Tom, she 
made no delay, but obeyed his direction to gc 
and be dressed at once. 

How many boys do you think would have 
consented as readily, cheerfully, and kindly as 
Tom Norris did to such a request from a little 
sister ? But that was Tom's way. When he 
granted a favor or bestowed a kindness, it was 
done in a manner which made it seem as if it 
were a pleasure to himself. And if he were 
obliged to refuse Lily any thing that she asked, 
she never grumbled nor fretted, because she 
knew well that Tom would grant it if he could, 
or if it were best for her to have it. Tom 
never said he couldn't be " bothered with girls," 
or " catch me doing it," or ran off with some 

A Monkey, a Puppy, and a Beggar. 37 

other contemptuous or unkind speech, such as 
boys too often use toward their little sisters. 
Tom was a true man, and a true gentleman, 
kindly and courteous in his manner and words 
toward all women and children, but especially 
to his mother and little sister : free, fearless, 
and generous ; daring to do and to speak the 
right ; yet so bright, so gay, so manly that not 
one among his companions ever thought of 
calling him a " Miss Nancy," a " muff," or 
other like names. 

No, indeed ! and was not Tom Norris the 
king of Mr. Peters' school, the judge in all 
disputes, the one to settle all difficulties, to 
" help a fellow out of a scrape " ? 

Nora would as soon have thought of ques- 
tioning her own care and wisdom for Lily as 
she would that of " Master Tom." 

" Miss Lily's all right, ma'am, she's with 
Master Tom," would be answer enough when 
there was any inquiry about the little girl ; 
and it was quite satisfactory to mother or nurse 
to ki. nw that she was with her brother. No fear 

^8 Lily Norris' Enemy. 

that Lily would come to harm or fall into mis- 
chief with Tom to guard and guide her. 

So she made no objection when Lily came 
running to her and begged to be dressed to go 
out with Tom ; and she soon had her ready. 

As the little girl went downstairs to join 
her brother, he stood in the hall below, putting 
on his overcoat. 

" Lily," he said, when he saw her, " did you 
tell Nora to sew on these two buttons ? " 

" Oh, Tom ! " cried Lily, clasping her hands 
together, and looking ashamed and troubled, 
as she well might. 

" You told me, Lily," said Tom, " when I 
wanted to ask mamma to give the order, that 
you would be sure to attend to it, and that 
you would go right away and tell Nora. Now 
you must wait till I go up and have it done. 
You put it off, I suppose, and so forgot it." 

Yes, that was just it ; more procrastination, 
and so forgetfulness. 

Tom did not speak angrily, but his voice 
was grave, and Lily saw that he was vexed. 

A Monkey, a Puffy, and a Beggar. 39 

" I'm so sorry," she said to herself, as she 
opened the front door, and stood waiting for 
her brother upon the stoop. " I did mean to 
remember and tell Nora right away, and I only 
just stopped to listen to mamma's musical 
box for a moment, and so I went and forgot. 
It is too mean I do forget so quick." 

What was the reason Lily forgot so quickly 
and so often ? 

Because she allowed other things to take her 
time and her attention from the duty she 
should first attend to. 

" Please, dear little lady, to help a poor 

Lily started, and looked around. She had 
not seen the woman coming, and she now was 
half way up the steps, almost at her elbow. 

" Please, little lady," the woman began again; 
" I've a little girl at home no bigger nor your- 
self, and five more of 'em, and not a mouthful 
to eat have they had these twenty-four hours. 
A little money to buy bread for 'em, and bless 
your beautiful face." 

40 Lily Norris* Enemy, 

" Oh, dear ! I'm so sorry," said Lily ; not 
moved by the woman's flattery, but by the 
vision of the six children no larger than her- 
self, who were starving. " I think mamma 
would give you lots of things if she were 
home, but she is not ; or papa either. Couldn't 
you come again ? " 

" And I might go home to find them dying 
or dead," whined the old woman, coming 
nearer, and trying to peer within the half open 
door. " You couldn't give a poor mother a 
loaf of bread, or a few pennies, little lady ? 
I'm not a beggar at all ; I'd be ashamed to beg, 
but I thought if I could get a lift this once, 
I'd work it out some day. I never begged in 
my life ; but there's the children starving, and 
me with a broken arm." 

Lily, who was a charitable and generous 
child, felt her sympathy strongly roused, and 
remembering the store in her money-box up- 
stairs, she said, — 

" Oh, yes ! I have money of my own, and I'll 
give you some. But it's way upstairs, so 

A Monkey, a Puffy, and a Beggar. 41 

you'll have to wait a minute till I bring it. 
And I'll see if I can have a loaf of bread for 
you too." 

The woman was about to follow her into the 
house ; but Lily, recollecting certain charges 
she had heard given to the servants, and also 
a sad and mortifying thing which had once 
happened to Maggie Bradford, would not suffer 
her to enter. But, not wishing to hurt the 
woman's feelings, she said, — 

" I think you'd better wait outside. Mamma 
don't like to have strange people come in when 
there's no one about ; and the servants are all 
downstairs 'cept Nora, and she's up. I'll be 
back in a minute ; " and, with an encouraging 
nod to the woman, away she flew on her errand 
of kindness. 

Poor Lily ! in the midst of her intended 
prudence, she had been most imprudent ; for 
she left the door partially open, not wishing to 
seem too inhospitable, and never dreaming the 
woman would disregard her order, and take 
advantage of her absence. 

42 Lily Nor r is* Enemy. 

She ran into the nursery and found hei 
money-box, taking from it twenty-five cents. 
Tom was speaking to Nora, who was still busy 
with his coat, am'. Lily did not interrupt him. 
But presently he turned to her. 

" Going to do some shopping too, Lily ? " he 
asked, as he saw what she was doing. 

" No," said Lily, " this is for a poor woman 
downstairs. Don't you want to give her some- 
thing too, Tom ? And do you think mamma 
would let me give her a loaf of bread ? She's 
not a common beggar : she says she's not ; and 
she has six children, all starving, just about 
as big as me." 

" Miss Lily," said Nora, starting up, " now 
what have you done with her ? Where is she ? " 

" Oh, you needn't be afraid, Nora," an- 
swered Lily. " I was very careful, and told 
her to stay outside, on the stoop, 'cause I re- 
membered how Maggie let a man come in the 
house, and how he stole her papa's new over- 
coat while she went upstairs. I took very 
good care of her, and told her she couldn't 

A Monkey, a Pufi£y> and a Beggar. 43 

come in, 'cause every one was upstairs or down- 
stairs. Shall you give her some money ? and 
can I have the bread, Tom ? " 

" Wait till I come down and see the woman," 
said Tom, who knew that Lily's sym- 
pathies were too apt to run away with her 

Lily waited with what patience she might for 
a moment or two ; but it seemed to her that 
Nora's fingers moved very slowly. 

"Tom," she said presently, " couldn't you 
come and see the woman while Nora finishes the 
coat ? You know those children must be grow- 
ing starveder and starveder every minute." 

Tom laughed, but consented ; and, taking 
her hand, was about to lead her from the room, 
when Nora stopped her. 

" Miss Lily," she said, " you took away my 
large scissors this morning, and I need them 
to cut out some work. Will you bring them 
to me before you go down again ? " 

"You find them, please, Nora," answered 
Lily. " They're somewhere in my baby-house." 

44 Lily JVorris* Enemy, 

" Your mamma forbid it," said Nora. " She 
told me when you took a thing that way and 
kept it, I was to make you bring it back, and 
not go and hunt it up for you." 

" Just this once," pleaded Lily. 

Nora shook her head, though she would 
herself willingly have humored the child. 

" Your mamma was here, you know, when you 
took the scissors," she said, " and she told me 
if you did not bring them back as you promised, 
I was to send you for them. She said you are 
getting too much in the way of thinking that I 
am to hunt up all the things you don't put back 
in their places, and to see to every thing you 
put off and leave undone. You musfc bring me 
the scissors before you go, dear." 

" While you find them I'll go down and 
talk to your woman with the half-dozen chil- 
dren all just of your size," said Tom, who 
evidently had his doubts on the subject of Lily's 
protegee; " and if she seems all right you shall 
give her some food; but we won't give her 
money till we know more about her. That is 

A Monkey, a Puppy, and a Beggar. 45 

mamma's rule, you know. Nora, please bring 
me the coat when it is done." 

And Tom went away, leaving Lily to follow 
when she had found the scissors. 

It took her some three or four minutes to do 
this ; for she had left them among a heap of 
bits of silk and ribbon with which she had 
been playing that morning, and neglecting to 
take the scissors back to Nora when she had 
finished with them, as she had promised to do, 
she had forgotten them altogether, and could 
not find them at once. 

The coat was ready when she went back to 
Nora, and the nurse followed her downstairs 
with it. 

" Your bird had flown when I came down, 
Lil," said Tom, when he saw her. 

" Who, the woman ? Had she gone away ? " 
asked Lily. 

" Yes, she had gone ; no sign of her. But 
didn't you say you had shut her out ? " 

" I told her to stay out, 'cause there was no 
one about in this part of the house to take care 

46 Lily Nor r if Enemy. 

of her," answered Lily, with an air of confident 
wisdom and prudence. 

"And did you not shut the door?" asked 

" Not so very tight," said Lily. " I left it a 
little scrap open, fear her feelings would be 
hurt, and maybe she might think I wasn't 
coming back to her." 

" Oh, wise Lily ! " said Tom, laughing, as he 
put on his overcoat ; u you left the door stand- 
ing open, and told her there was no one in this 
part of the house ! Next time, little woman, 
close the door." 

"Did she come in?" asked Lily. "I told 
her she must not." 

" No, I believe not," answered Tom ; " and 
as it is there is no harm done, for I've looked 
round, and there's nothing touched. The 
hats and coats are all right, and every thing 
else seems to be safe. You've had better 
luck or a better beggar than poor Maggie ; 
but next time, puss, don't you leave any one 
the chance to walk in when the coast is clear." 

A Monkey, a Puffy, mid a Beggar. 47 

" You're sure there's nothing taken, and 
that she's not in the house, Master Tom ? " 
said prudent Nora. 

" Yes, I believe it's all safe," said Tom ; 
" but you'd better call Robert up, and tell him 
to make a thorough search. Come, Lily, we'll 
be off now." 



ILY," said Tom, as they went down 
the street together, " don't you see 
what a lot of trouble your habit of 
putting off makes for yourself and every one 
about you ? " 

" Yes, I should think I did," answered Lily, 
with energy. " I'm dreadfully sorry about 
your coat, Tom ; I really am, dreadfully." 

Apparently her remorse did not affect her 
spirits much, for, as she spoke, she went skip- 
ping along, swinging her brother's hand back 
and forth, and smiling and nodding with glee. 
" I was not speaking for myself so much, or 

The Silver Inkstand. 49 

caring about my coat just then," said Tom. 
" That does not matter now ; but this is such a 
bad habit of yours, Lily, and it is growing 
worse and worse." 

" Oh, but I'm going to begin to cure myself 
very soon," said Lily. " Maggie and Bessie 
are going to make me a proverb picture, and 
Belle is going to help them ; and as soon as I 
have it I will improve myself by it. Tom, 
why don't the boys in your school make proverb 
pictures for each other ? I should think they 
would. Proverb pictures are so very interest- 
ing, and so improving too, Tom." 

" I dare say, when one is willing to be 
improved, " said Tom ; " but I do not think our 
boys would care much about them. They are 
rather too large for that." 

" Dear me ! I should think the older people 
are the better they'd like them," said Lily ; 
" 'cause they can make them better when 
they've learned to draw. I can't make them 
very fit to be seen yet ; but when I'm grown up 
and can draw nicely, I'll make a whole lot ; and 

50 Lily JVbrrts' Enemy, 

when I go to make visits, or my acquaintances 
come to see me, and I see they have faults or 
bad habits, I'll just give them a proverb picture 
to help them to correct themselves." 

u If you don't change your mind in the 
mean time," said Tom, merrily. " I don't think 
you'll be overrun with visitors if you enter- 
tain them in that fashion, Lily. But," becoming 
grave again, " I want you to listen to me, and 
seriously, too. You see what trouble this put- 
ting off and never being ready in time makes 
for yourself ; and you can't help seeing also how 
it provokes other people, and good reason, too. 
For you know, Lily, you have no right to make 
such inconvenience for other people. " 

" Ho ! " said Lily. " I see, Tom, you're like 
Maggie's old Quaker lady, cross old thing ! I 
don't mean you're cross, not one bit ; only 
you think, like her, that somebody has no right 
to take up other people's time by making them 

" What Quaker lady ? " asked Tom. 

Lily repeated Maggie's story, almost word 

The Silver Inkstand. 5 1 

for word, as she had told it. Tom was very 
much amused, but he did not let Lily see that ; 
for it was hard to make her talk seriously on 
any subject, and he did not wish to have her 
see him laugh just now. 

" Yes," he said, with all the gravity he could 
muster, " I am much of the opinion of that 
old lady. I do not think that any one has the 
right to waste the time of other people, by 
keeping them waiting, when it can be avoided ; 
or by failing to do that which they are ex- 
pected, or perhaps have promised, to do. I 
know a lady — " 

" What's her name ? " questioned Lily. 

" Never mind her name. I know a lady 
who is never ready at the time for which she 
makes an engagement, and who in this way 
makes herself a nuisance to all who are obliged 
to have any business with her ; who always 
comes into church when the service is half 
over ; who is late at every meal, either in her 
own house, or other people's — " 

" Yes," said Lily ; " and don't you remem- 

52 Lily Norrii Enemy. 

ber, Tom, how mad papa was that time she 
came to dinner at our house when Mr. Francis 
was there ; and he and papa had a very impor- 
tant engagement, and she kept the dinner 
waiting so long that they could not get to their 
engagement in time ; and wasn't papa mad ? " 

" Not mad exactly," said Tom, " but he was 
very much vexed, and with reason; but I see 
you know whom I mean, Lily." 

" Oh, yes, very well indeed ; you mean Miss 
Lee. She's just too provoking for any thing ; 
but then I never mean to be like her. Pretty 
soon I'm going to begin to correct myself of 
putting off, and not being ready in time." 

u But why don't you begin now, right off? " 
said Tom. 

" Would you ? " asked Lily, doubtfully. " I 
thought I'd wait till I had the proverb 

" Yes, begin to-day, this very minute," said 

" There's nothing for me to put off just 
now," said Lily. 

The Silver Inkstand. 53 

" I mean make up your mind ; take a resolu 
tion you will begin at once," said Tom. " You 
see, Lily, it is the same in every thing. You 
always think, ' it is time enough, ' or ' another 
time will do ; ' and so the thing is left undone, 
or you make some trouble. You are a real 
generous, obliging little girl, but you could be 
far more helpful if you had not this bad habit. 
Mamma often asks you to do some little thing 
for her; but if she trusts to you, ten to one — " 

Lily stopped short where she stood, with a 
face of the blankest dismay, and interrupted 
her brother in a distressed voice. 

" Oh, Tom ! " she said. u I did do such a 
thing ! Mamma did trust me, and I've done 
such a thing, and never did it." 

" What is it ? What have you clone, and 
what haven't you done ? " asked Tom, rather 
at a loss to understand her, as you may im- 
agine he would be. 

" Mamma was just going out with Mrs. 
Bradford, when a note came she had to answer 
before she went," said Lily ; " and she was in 

54 Lily JVorrzV Enemy, 

a great hurry, and so she told me to be a help 
to her, and put away all her writing things 
very carefully. And I said I would, and she 
trusted me, and told me to do it right away, 
and — and — oh, Tom ! " 

" And you did not do it, " said Tom, gravely. 
u You did not do it at once, but put it off, and 
so left it undone." 

" Yes, " answered Lily, her eyes filling, and 
her voice shaking. " I never did it, and I 
should think I was provoking. I should think 
the whole world might be provoked with me. 
Tom, I ought to go back ; but you oughtn't to 
be kept for me any longer. You can take me 
to our house, and just leave me ; and I'll go 
right in, and put away mamma's things, and 
stay at home for a punishment to myself, 
and to make me see how troublesome putting 
off is." 

" Mamma's things are all put away, Lily," 
said Tom. 

" Who did it ? You ? " asked Lily, recover- 
ing her spirits a little. 

The Silver Inkstand. 55 

" Yes. I did not know you had promised to 
do it, or I should have spoken to you about it ; 
but when I was looking round to see if that 
beggar woman had been at any mischief, I saw 
mamma's writing things lying about over the 
table, and her desk open ; so I just put every 
thing away, and locked the desk. It is all right 
now," added Tom, believing it was as he 
said. " But how came you to forget mamma's 
orders, Lily ? " 

" It was all the fault of that old monkey," 
said Lily, as her brother led her on. " Horrid 
thing ! I wish he'd stayed away, and that I 
hadn't looked at him, or given him cakes 
or pennies or any thing. His frock was aw- 
fully dirty too," she added, forgetting all the 
amusement the monkey had afforded her, and 
now only disposed to regard him as the cause 
of her neglect of her mother's wishes. 

" I should not blame the poor monkey if I 
were you," said Tom. " How was it ? You 
went to look at the monkey in place of attend- 
ing -to mamma's orders, and so forgot all about 
them ? " 

56 Lily Norris* Enemy. 

" Yes," said Lily. " I meant to look at him 
for only one minute, and then to put away the 
things just as mamma told me, but he was so 
funny I forgot ; and then the puppies came ; 
and that's the way I never remembered them 
at all." 

" Well, you see," said Tom, " you should 
have put away mamma's things at once, and 
then gone to look at the monkey. And it was 
your own fault, not the monkey's, Lily. He 
did not ask you to come and look at him ; it 
was your own choice." 

" Yes," answered Lily, rather meekly for 

" Now can't you see it is better for you to 
begin at once ? " said Tom. " Don't let Pro- 
crastination hinder you here, Lil. The old 
fellow don't want himself put down, and will 
trump up all manner of excuses to keep his 
hold on you. But you root him up just as 
quick as you can. Begin this very day ; and 
the next time you have any thing to do, don't 
listen to one of his fine speeches." 

The Silver Inkstand, 57 

" Yes, so I will, I b'lieve," said Lily. " I 
^on't wait for the proverb picture, but just 
begin to-day. I wish there would come some- 
thing I want to put off, and I wouldn't put it 
off, but just do it very quick indeed." 

Poor Lily ! She was to learn more that day of 
the evils of procrastination in her own case. 

Tom thought he had said enough to her 
now ; and they went on together to the store 
where he wished to buy his dog-house. Here 
they chose one, and here also they purchased 
a collar for the puppy, Tom allowing Lily to 
pick out a red one, although he would himself 
have preferred blue. Was he not a kind 
brother ? 

As they were on their way home, they met 
Maggie and Bessie Bradford, with their Aunt 

Lily rushed forward, letting go her hold on 
her brother's hand ; and Maggie ran to meet 
her, almost as eager as she was. 

" Is my proverb picture nearly ready ? " 
asked Lily. 

58 Lily JVorrtV Enemy, 

" Yes, quite," answered Maggie ; " and we 
want you to come to our house, so we can ex- 
plain it to you. We've just been to your house 
to ask you, but you were out, or else you could 
have come to take tea with us, if your mamma 
had said so. I wonder if she wouldn't just as 
lief you should come now. Can't Lily come 
with us, Tom ? " 

Tom had now come up to the little girls, 
and so had Miss Annie Stanton and Bessie ; 
and, after taking off his hat to the young lady, 
he answered, — 

" I think not to-night, Maggie. At least I 
do not like to take it upon myself to give her 
leave ; for she had a bad sore throat yesterday, 
and I do not think mamma would like to have 
her out in the evening air." 

Lily looked as if she were about to cry, and 
Maggie and Bessie also looked disappointed. 

" Never mind," said Bessie, cheering up in 
one moment ; " it will be just as good if you 
come to-morrow and spend the day. Mamma 
said we could ask you to do that if you could 

The Silver Inkstand. 59 

not come this afternoon ; and we will have you 
a longer time, Lily." 

" That's putting off, though," said Lily, with 
a pout, " and I've just made up my mind not 
to do it." 

Tom laughed, and so did Miss Annie, both 
somewhat amused at Lily's haste to practise 
the new virtue as soon as it fell in with her 
own wishes ; but Maggie and Bessie thought 
this a very sensible view of the matter. 

" But one may put off a thing when it comes 
in the way of a duty, or of another thing 
which should be attended to first," said Annie 
Stanton. " When mamma's wishes and your 
pleasure come in the way of one another, 
which should you put first ? " 

" Why, what mamma wishes, Miss Annie. 
I should think I would do what mamma wants 
first. Anyway I ought to would" added Lily, 
thinking of her shortcomings of that very day. 

" Then you see you may put off coining to 
Maggie and Bessie till to-morrow, since your 
mamma does not wish you to be out at night," 

60 Lily JVorrzY Enemy, 

said Miss Stanton ; and with this agreement, 
the little friends parted. 

" I see," said Lily, demurely, but with a 
gleam of mischief in her eye, — "I see people 
don't think it is as much harm to put off 
things you want to do as it is to put off what 
you don't want to do." 

" Well," said Tom, smiling, " you see that 
is where it is, Lil. We are so apt to think it 
will do to put off what we do not care to do 
very much, — any little duty or task; but if 
it is some pleasure, we are generally ready 
enough to do it at once." 

" Maggie thinks I put off pleasures too," 
said Lily. " She was real provoked with me 
'cause I kept them waiting to go to the party 
the other day." 

" Do you like other people to keep you wait- 
ing, Lily ? " 

"No, indeed, I don't," said Lily. 

" Then ought you not to be careful how you 
do it to others ? " 

" Yes, I know, Tom, and I don't mean to do 

The Silver Inkstand. 61 

it ; but somehow I do. But now you see if I 
do not improve myself a good deal of this 
habit," said Lily, confidently, yet carelessly ; 
for it was plainly to be seen that she thought 
this vexatious fault of but little consequence. 

Lily had meant to confess to her mother 
how neglectful she had been of her wishes; 
but when she and Tom reached home, they 
found with Mrs. Norris a lady who had been 
invited to dinner. So Lily thought she would 
postpone her confession until by and by, and 
not draw upon herself her mother's grave and 
reproachful look in the presence of company. 

I do not know that she was to blame for 
this. Few little girls but would have done the 
same, I think ; and Lily had no idea that any 
mischief or loss had come from her procrasti- 

Dinner was over, Tom gone upstairs to pre- 
pare his lessons for to-morrow, and Lily, in her 
favorite evening seat, — that is, perched upon 
the arm of her father's chair while he read his 
paper, — was happily playing with some paper 

62 Lily Nor r if Enemy. 

dolls, while mamma and her friend sat opposite, 
talking, when a person came with a message 
requiring an immediate answer. 

Mrs. Norris went to her secretary and wrote 
the note, using for the purpose an ordinary 
inkstand which belonged there ; and then said 
approvingly to Lily, — 

" My pet, how nicely you put away mamma's 
writing things; all the papers in their proper 
places and order. Pretty well done for such 
a little girl." 

" Mamma," said Lily, wishing that she need 
not speak before Miss Hamilton, but too honest 
to take credit which was not her just due, — 
" Mamma, I did not put them away ; it was 
Tom. I — I — forgot, mamma. I waited to 
look at a monkey before I put them away, and 
then the puppy came, and Tom took me out ; 
and I forgot all about your things, and how I 
had promised, and never remembered till we 
were out in the street ; and then Tom told me 
he had put them away, but he didn't know you 
had told me to do it." 

The Silver Inkstand. 63 

It was all out now ; and Lily, as she glanced 
at Miss Hamilton, felt as if she could not be 
thankful enough to that lady for seeming so 
absorbed in the photograph album she was 
turning over. 

Mrs. Norris uttered no word of reproach ; 
but, as she looked within the well-ordered 
secretary, she said, — 

" Where did Tom put the silver inkstand ? 
I do not see it." 

" I don't know, mamma," answered Lily. 
" Is it not there ? Tom said he came in here 
and saw your things lying on the table, and he 
thought you must have forgotten them, so he 
put them all away. Shall I go and ask him 
what he did with the inkstand ? " 

" No," said her mother, " I do not wish to 
disturb him at his lessons. I will look further." 

But further search proved vain, though Mrs. 
Norris looked, not only through each nook and 
partition of the secretary, but also all over the 
room. Still she was not' at all disturbed at the 
non-appearance of the inkstand. 

64 Lily Norris' Enemy, 

" Send up and ask Tom, my dear," said Mr. 

" Oh, it is not necessary," said his wife. 
" He may have put it in some unusual place. 
If he took care of it, it is quite safe. He will 
be down presently, and I do not care to in- 
terrupt him." 

" See what it is to have a good character, 
Lily," said her father, passing his arm about 
the little figure on the arm of his chair, and 
smiling into the rosy^ mischievous face before 
him. " How long before mamma will be able 
to put such trust in you, do you think ? " 

" Oh, very soon, papa ; you'll see," said Lily, 
confident in the strength of her newly formed 

It was not long before Tom made good his 
mother's words by appearing, his lessons all 
ready for the next day, for it happened that he 
had not had much to do that evening ; and Mrs. 
Norris immediately asked him, — 

" What did you do with my silver inkstand, 
my boy ? " 

The Silver Inkstand. 65 

" I did not have it, mamma," was the 

" But you put it away this afternoon, did 
you not ? " 

" No," answered Tom, wonderingly, but 

" Why, yes, Tom," said Lily, " you told me 
you had put away all mamma's things that 
she left on the table." 

" But there was no inkstand there," said 
Tom. " I remember noticing that, because I 
said to myself, ' Mamma has taken time to put 
by her ink ; ' and I supposed you had feared it 
would be spilled, mamma. There was no ink 
stand upon the table, I am sure." 

" Did you move the inkstand at all, Lily ? " 
asked Mrs. Norris. 

" No, mamma, I never touched it. I did 
not put away one single thing." 

Tom helped his mother in a fresh search for 
the missing inkstand ; but all in vain. 

Then the servant man was called, and ques- 


66 Lily Norrii Enemy, 

" I saw Miss Lily with her hand on the ink- 
stand when I called her to see the little dogs 
this afternoon, ma'am," he said, in reply to 
Mrs. Norris's inquiries. " Do you remember, 
if you please, Miss Lily ? " 

" Oh, yes," said Lily. " I remember now, 
mamma. I did take it up to put it away, but 
I set it down again when I ran after Robert to 
see the puppies. I meant to come right back, 
but I never thought of it again." 

" Master Tom," said Robert, " you were asking 
me had I seen a beggar-woman about the door 
this afternoon. Could she have been in here, 
and caught up the inkstand? If she'd just 
opened the library door, and peeped in, it would 
have been the first thing she'd see, for it stood 
right here, where Miss Lily left it." 

Tom looked dismayed, and Lily still more 
so ; for, if the inkstand were indeed stolen, was 
it not all her fault ? Owing to her procrastina- 
tion, to the putting off of the small service her 
mother had asked of her ? And so it proved ; 
for nothing could be found of the inkstand, 

The Silver Inkstand. 67 

and it was never heard of again. Its loss 
could be accounted for in no other way than by 
supposing that the woman, finding the door 
left open, and learning from Lily's imprudent 
words that there was no one about to interfere 
with her, had walked in, opened the library 
door, and seeing the inkstand, had snatched it 
up, and made off with it. 

Lily's shame and grief were very great, all 
the more so because she knew that this ink- 
stand was dearly loved and valued by her 
mamma, because it had been the gift of a dead 
sister. And seeing this, her mother could not 
bear to reproach her, for it was very unusual 
for Lily to take her own wrong-doing much to 
heart. But this was, as she said herself, " the 
worst consequence I ever did in all my long 
life ; " and she probably felt it all the more 
deeply for her kind mother's forbearance. 

That she was sufficiently punished by her 
own remorse was plainly to be seen ; and long 
after she was in bed and fast asleep, her 
mother heard long sobs heaving her little 

68 Lily JVorrts* Enemy. 

breast, and found her pillow aJl wet with 

" My poor little one ! I hope it may be a 
lasting lesson to her," said the mother, as she 
pushed back the hair from the flushed and 
tear-stained face. " If it should be, I shall 
think it cheaply purchased even by the loss of 
my much valued inkstand." 



ILY was still in a very subdued and 
melancholy frame of mind when she 
reached the Bradfords' house on the 
following day ; and when her little playmates 
inquired the cause, she made answer, — 

" If mamma had given me my deservings, 
she would have shut me up in a room by my- 
self, and never let me come out in all my life, 
nor come to spend the day with you any more. 
It's a great deal too good for such a sinner as 
me, and something ought to be done to me. I 
don't mean to have a nice time to-day." 

This virtuous resolution was forgotten, how- 

70 Lily JYorris' Enemy. 

ever, before the day was over ; but at the time 
it much astonished her young friends, as did 
also the low state of Lily's spirits. 

Fresh questions followed ; and Lily told her 
story, mingling her own bitter self-accusations 
with reproaches against the supposed thief. 

" For I told her she was not to come in, 
'cause there was no one about to 'tend to her," 
she said, as if this were an added aggravation 
of her sorrows; " and I only left the door open 
for fear her feelings would be hurt ; but now 1 
don't b'lieve she had any to hurt. I don't 
s'pose thieves have many feelings, do you, Mag- 

" No, I don't believe they have," answered 
Maggie. " I just expect their feelings are 
' lost to sight, and not to memory dear.' " 

This fine sentiment, having been properly 
appreciated, called up the recollection of the 
promised proverb picture. 

" Did you find a proverb that would be a 
lesson for mo, or did you have to make one ? " 
asked mournful Lily. 

Lily's Proverb Picture. 71 

" Mamma told us one," said Maggie. " It 
is ' Procrastination is the thief of Time.' " 

" You'd better say the thief of inkstands," 
said Lily, ruefully. " Maggie and Bessie and 
Belle, I feel 'most as if it was me who had 
stolen mamma's inkstand." 

The other little girls all set about consoling 
her ; and Bessie took an opportunity to whis- 
per to Maggie that she thought they had better 
not give Lily the proverb picture that day be- 
cause it might make her feel worse. 

But this was not by any means Lily's view 
of the matter ; and she presently asked to be 
shown this joint production of her three little 
friends, Maggie and Bessie and Belle. 

Accordingly, the picture, or rather pictures, 
were brought forth, and with them the poem 
which Maggie had composed to accompany 

When the red ribbon which tied the first 
was taken off, and the pictures unrolled, they 
proved quite a panorama ; and Lily's mourn- 
ful face lighted up at the sight. 

72 Lily JVbrrtf Enemy. 

" How good of you ! " she said. " It must 
nave taken you ever so long to draw all those 

" There are four of them," said Bessie. 
" Belle made two, 'cause she can draw the 
best, and Maggie made one, and I one ; but 
Maggie made 'most all the ideas. I think 
they're so very plain you can make them out 
for yourself, Lily, but we'll 'splain them to you 
if you like." 

" I'll see how much I can find out, and you 
can tell me the rest," said Lily, setting herself 
at once to the study of the drawings. 

" What's the reading on this one ? " she 
asked. " P-r-o-pro-c-r-a-s-cras — Oh! I s'pose 
this is ' Procrastination is the thief of Time.' " 

" Yes," said Maggie. 

" And this is a skeleton," said Lily, " a 
skeleton with a goblet in one hand, and a — 
and a " — Lily hesitated, wishing to be sure to 
hit the right nail on the head — " and a — I'm 
not quite sure if it's a feather dust-brush, or a 
coachman's whip." 

Lily's Proverb Picture. 73 

" Oh ! " exclaimed Belle, indignant. 

" Why, Lily ! " said Bessie, " that's Time with 
his hour-glass and scythe, and Belle drew that 
picture, and we think it's the very best one of 

" I'm sorry," said Lily, rather ashamed of 
not having at once recognized the articles in 

" You know in the pictures Time is always 
a very thin old man," said Bessie, " so we had 
to make him so to have it real ; and Maggie 
told Belle she'd better make him as thin as 
she could, 'cause that horrid thief Procrasti- 
nation bothers him so he hardly has any flesh 
on his bones. This is a kind of allegory pic- 
ture, you see, Lily." 

" Yes, I understand. And this rather beg- 
gar-looking child — " Lily hesitated again, 
unwilling to run the risk of making any more 
such uncomplimentary mistakes. " I think 
you'd better tell me about it. I'm 'fraid I'm 
rather stupid this morning. I think I went 
crazy last night about that inkstand, and I'm 

74 Lily JVornY Enemy, 

hardly recovered yet. I b'lieve that's the rea- 
son I didn't know Time's hour-glass and scythe 
at first." 

Never before had her little friends known 
Lily to speak and look with such solemnity, 
and they all felt very much for her. 

Maggie, however, thought it well to improve 
the occasion. 

" I did not want to seem severe with her," 
she said afterward to Bessie and Belle, " but 
I thought the picture might make a deeper 
impression if I let her see to what a dreadful 
condition procrastinating people might come." 

" Yes," she said to Lily, " yes, that is Pro- 
crastination, all ragged and dirty and starved. 
He never has a nice time, and he hardly 
ever has any thing to eat, 'cause when people 
say to him, ' Procrastination, dinner is ready,' 
he says, ' I think I'll eat by and by ; ' and then 
when he comes, the dinner is all gone, and he 
has to go hungry : and when they say, ' Go 
and get washed, and have on clean clothes,' 
he says, ' Another day I will ; ' so he becomes 

Lily's Proverb Picture, 75 

all ragged, and his friends are so ashamed of 
him that they just let him take care of himself. 
That's the way he looks so horridly. And 
poor old Time hardly knows what to do with 
himself for the way that troublesome fel- 
low worries him. He doesn't leave Time 
alone to clo his duty one minute. Do you see 
these things in Procrastination's hand ? " 

" Yes ; what are they ? " asked Lily, deeply 

" They are Time's purse and pocket hand- 
kerchief that Procrastination — I think we'd 
better call him Pro, because it takes so long to 
say Procrastination — that Pro has stolen 
out of his pocket ; and here at his feet are 
some broken hour-glasses ; and now he is run- 
ning after Time, and trying to steal his last 
hour-glass, so that the poor old fellow will have 
none left. That means, when you're not talk- 
ing allegory, that Pro steals the hours and 
makes you lose all your time ; but he can not 
catch him up, which means that when you have 
lost your time, you never can catch up with it. " 

76 Lily Norrii Enemy. 

" Yes, " said Lily, dolefully ; " but I think it 
would be better if you made Pro stealing ink- 
stands. It's just what I deserve. Is that all 
about that picture ? " 

" Yes," answered Maggie ; " now we come to 
real life. Bessie, this is your picture ; tell 
Lily about it." 

It is to be observed that the ragged figure 
which represented Procrastination, or " Pro," 
was to be seen in each successive picture. 
This was considered a judicious mingling of 
the allegorical with reality. 

"This," said Bessie, " is a little girl whose 
mamma said to her, i My dear, there is a 
match upon the carpet ; pick it up right 
away.' But Procrastination " — Bessie would 
not on any account have shortened her words, 
especially on such a grave occasion — "came 
and whispered to her, ' By and by will do ; 
it's time enough ; ' and presently her little 
sister came in and picked up the match, 
and set herself on fire, and she was quite 
burnt up before she could be put out, and she 

Lily's Proverb Picture. 77 

was the only sister the put-offing child had, 
and she stayed unhappy all the rest of the 
days of her life." 

" Like me," said Lily. 

" Oh, no," said Maggie, cheerfully, " you'll 
get over that inkstand. I find people gener- 
ally do get over things ; at least, I do. Take 
courage by me, Lily. I thought I never should 
recover having papa's coat stolen, but you see 
I have ; and I think I'm about as happy as any 
child could be." 

" Ah ! but you wasn't disobedient, and didn't 
put off," said Lily. " Tell me some more." 

" Perhaps we'd better not, 'cause you feel 
so badly," said Bessie. 

" They do me good," answered Lily. " I 
don't think I can care for any thing else to-day. 
Who made this picture ? " 

" I did," said Maggie, " and this is the story 
of it. This is fable or allegory too ; " and, 
unrolling another sheet of paper, Maggie read 
aloud her famous poem, which had been pro- 
nounced a great success by both Bessie and 

78 Lily JVbmY Enemy. 

Belle. Her picture consisted of a series of 
small drawings, which explained themselves 
as she read the verses. 

" There's a bad little fellow, 
His name it is Pro- 
Cras - tin - a - ti - on ; 
And to you I will show 
How he robs and he steals 
And he plagues Father Time. 
I'll tell you all this, 
And I'll tell you in rhyme. 

When to school he is sent, 
He most slowly doth go, 
For he stops first to play, 
Then to look at some show ; 
By the hour he is there, 
Why ! the school is 'most out. 
That's one way he robs Time, 
This sad putting-ofF lout. 

When his mother doth say, 
' Go this errand for me,' 
He will say, ' By and by ; ' 
' Pretty soon ; ' ' I will see ;' 
Till at last 'tis too late, 
Or his mother must go. 
' Tis a base, heartless crime, 
For a child to do so 

But there's worse yet to tell, 
For to church he goes late ; 

Lily's Proverb Picture* 79 

And he reaches God's house 
In a sad, dirty state ; 
For he never is dressed, 
And he never is clean. 
That 'tis all putting off, 
Is quite plain to be seen. 

He ne'er has a book, 
Or a toy, or a pet, 
For to put them away 
He doth always forget ; 
So they're broken or lost, 
Or most shamefully torn ; 
And he's nothing to do, 
Which is very forlorn. 

Take heed now, ye children, 
And list to my tale ; 
What e'er you've to do, 
Do at once, without fail ; 
For if you'd be happy, 
And useful, and gay, 
Don't put off till to-morrow 
The work of to-day. 

Eemember, 'tis minutes 
That make up the hours ; 
As the small, tiny seeds 
Bring the beautiful flowers. 
Don't procrastinate then, 
O ye daughters of earth ! 
For woman's but grass 
From the day of her birth. " 

80 Lily JVbrrts? Enemy, 

In the ears of the little listeners this was a 
perfect gem of poetry, far beyond any thing 
Maggie had ever written before, whether it 
were " divine song," or " moral poem." The 
concluding lines were considered particularly 
fine, and, indeed, had been added on account of 
their striking effect. 

Bessie and Belle had heard it before, but 
they listened with rapt attention, and Lily was 
very much impressed. The third verse she felt 
particularly adapted to her case, though Maggie 
had intended no home thrust when she wrote 
it. But, to Lily's mind, it just suited the affair 
of the inkstand ; and when Maggie finished 
reading, she exclaimed, — 

" I should think I was a base, heartless 
crime I " 

The children all hastened to console her, 
and to assure her that they thought she would 
not fail to improve, now that she saw her fault 
so plainly. 

" I didn't mean that the child in the poem 
was really you," said Maggie. "That's the 

Lilfs Proverb Picture. 81 

reason I made Pro a boy instead of a girl. I 
only wanted to show you what people might 
come to who procrastinated all the time, and 
never were punctual." 

Maggie's drawing, as you have heard, was 
divided up into a number of smaller pictures, 
each one suited to a particular verse of the 
poem; and they explained themselves to one 
who had read or heard the latter. 

The fourth and last picture had been drawn 
by Belle, the chief artist among the little party. 

This also represented Father Time, who had 
now grown fat and nourishing, which was 
somewhat singular under the circumstances 
He was accompanied by another burly figure, 
and both were armed with many lashes and 
whips with which they chased " Pro," now 
himself reduced to a skeleton state, and vainly 
endeavoring to escape from his tormentors. 

" This," said Belle, " is my drawing, but it 
is Maggie's idea, and Bessie and I think it is 
pretty grand. Here is that naughty Pro, and 
he has lost every thing and every one he had 

82 Lily Nor r is* Enemy. 

in the world, all through his own putting off; 
and here," pointing to little dots and round o's 
with which the page was covered, " here are 
the hours and minutes flying away from him 
too. The largest ones are the hours ; the 
little ones, the minutes. And here are Father 
Time and Remorse coming after him with 
their — their — What kind of whips do they 
have, Maggie ? " 

" Scorpion whips," answered Maggie. " It 
was a very convenient thing that I happened 
to read the other day about the i scorpion whip 
of Remorse,' and it just gave me the idea for 
this picture. It means that when we feel very 
badly about something we know we deserve, it 
is just as bad as the stings of scorpions and 
bugs and other horrid things. And I thought 
we'd make believe Remorse had two scorpion 
whips, and lent one to Time to chase Procras- 
tination with." 

" Here's the ocean," said Belle, directing 
Lily's attention to where high, curling wave? 
were supposed to be leaping and dashing up 

Lily's Proverb Picture, 83 

ward, " and Pro was running away so fast 
from those dreadful scorpion whips that he 
never saw it, but ran right into the water, and 
was drowned ; and that was the end of Mm" 

Belle's tone was very triumphant when she 
uttered the Jast word, as though she were glad 
to have thus disposed of a troublesome cus- 

" I'm sure," said Lily, with an air of melan- 
choly satisfaction, " I'm sure I'm very much 
obliged to you all for taking so much trouble 
to improve me ; and I don't see how I can help 
being better now." 

" Then that's all we ask," said Maggie, 
" and we shan't regret any trouble we took. 
Now let's go and play." 

If the other children had had any fears that 
Lily's remorse and the " lesson " they had 
given her would interfere with her enjoyment 
of the day, such fears were soon put to flight ; 
for in ten minutes she was as merry and 
roguish as ever, and quite disposed to join in 
all the entertainment provided for her. 



OW many of my little girls would 
like to help in a good work ? " 
asked Miss Ashton, some two or 
three days after this. 

Ten little hands went up. Ten? Nay, I 
think there were thirteen or fourteen ; for some 
of the children were not content with holding 
up one, but raised both in their zeal to show 
Miss Ashton they were ready to do what she 

Miss Ashton went on to explain. 
" I think you will all remember," she said, 
" the lame soldier who was run over and killed 
on the corner of this street ? " 

Promising, 85 

There was a murmur of assenting voices, 
and little Belle added, — 

" Papa said it was a very generous thing for 
you and Mrs. Ashton to take care of his three 
children, Miss Ashton ; and I think so too." 

Miss Ashton smiled at her, and continued, — 

" But we could not take care of them always, 
dear Belle, and through the kindness of some 
friends we have found a pleasant home in the 
country for them. It is necessary that they 
should be comfortably fitted out before we send 
them there, however, and my uncle says that he 
will provide all the materials that the school 
will make up. The young ladies in my mother's 
room say they will make all the dresses and 
more difficult garments, and leave the simple 
and easier ones for you, if you choose to help. 
But before you make any promises, I wish you 
to ask your parents' permission, and also to 
make up your minds to have the garment you 
take finished by the end of two weeks, when 
the children are to leave for their new home. 
You nearly all sew well enough to do the easy 

86 Lily JVorrz's' Enemy, 

work upon these little skirts and aprons, and I 
think your friends at home will give you what 
help you may need." 

" But, Miss Ashton," said little Belle, with 
woe-begone voice and look, " I can hardly sew 
at all. Aunt Margaret has just begun to teach 
me, and she says I do take pains, but I b'lieve 
I do it pretty badly yet." 

" And I don't know how to sew," said her 
cousin, Mabel Walton, who now was sorry that 
she had always obstinately refused to learn 
how to use a needle. 

" I think we can find some easy thing for 
you both to do," said Miss Ashton, kindly. 
" But remember, dear children, what you 
promise, you must perform. If you undertake 
this work, you must have it finished at the end 
of the time I have named, — two weeks. I do 
not ash you to do it, for the older girls are 
willing to do all the work ; but I thought it 
might be a pleasure to you to help." 

" Oh, yes ! indeed it will, Miss Ashton," 
eaid Lily, " and I'd like to have two clothes to 

Promising. 87 

make. Mamma says I can sew pretty well 
fur such a little girl, and Nora will show me 

" One garment will be enough for you, Lily," 
said Miss Ash ton ; " if you finish that in time, 
it is all we shall need." 

" You need not be afraid I won't have it 
done in time, Miss Ashton," said Lily. " 1 
don't put off any more, nor be unpunctual 
either. I've been early at school every morn- 
ing this week," — this was Tuesday, — "and 
mamma said I was beginning to improve. 1 
couldn't help it very well, I had such a horrid 
lesson about an old beggar-woman who was 
nothing but a thief ; and then Maggie and 
Bessie and Belle made me lovely proverb 
pictures about the consequences of procrasti- 
nation, and Maggie wrote a splendid poem, so 
I ought to learn better with all that." 

" I think so," said Miss Ashton; " but, by the 
way, I wonder if Maggie and Bessie would not 
like to join us in this work. They always take 
such an interest in all that goes on among us 

88 Lily JVornV Enemy. 

here that perhaps they would be pleased if we 
offered to let them help." 

" Yes, I know they would," cried Belle, 
always ready to speak in praise of her beloved 
little playmates. " I know they would. Mag- 
gie and Bessie are very full of good works ; and 
they always like to do what we do, if they can, 

" Very well, " said Miss Ashton. " You 
can ask them when you see them, Belle ; and 
if they would like to help us, tell them to come 
in to-morrow, at the close of school. You 
can all bring me word then if your parents are 
willing for you to undertake this work, 
and I will give each one a piece to take 

The next morning each little girl brought 
word that she had received permission to take 
home and make such a garment as Miss Ash 
ton should see fit to give her ; and they had 
all been promised help and teaching by their 
mammas or other friends. 

The curiosity and interest of the class hav~ 

Promising. 89 

ing been much excited by Lily's glowing 
account of the "proverb picture" and poem 
furnished her by Maggie, Bessie, and Belie, 
she had been persuaded to bring them with 
her ; and being punctual for the third morning, 
she exhibited them before school was opened, 
to the great satisfaction and delight of the other 
children. They were also displayed to Miss 

" Maggie is quite a Murphy, isn't she, Miss 
Ashton ? " said Lily. 

" A what, dear ? " asked the young lady, 
much puzzled. 

" A Murphy — a M-m-ur-phy, " said Lily, 
putting severe and long emphasis on the word, 
as she saw that her teacher did not yet under- 
stand. " Don't you know what a Murphy is, 
Miss Ashton ? It means some one very wise 
and good, who teaches right things." 

" Oh ! " said Miss Ashton, smiling, as light 
broke in upon her ; " you mean a Mentor, do 
you not, Lily ? " 

" Oh, yes, that's it," said Lily ; " but I thought 

90 Lily JVorris' Enemy, 

it was Murphy. But I think Murphy is just 
as pretty a name as Mentor." 

" But people would understand your mean- 
ing better if you put the right name, Lily," 
said Miss Ashton, as she rang the bell for 

Maggie and Bessie had told Belle that they 
would be very glad to join in the work of 
making clothes for the poor little orphans ; and 
accordingly, when school was over and word 
was brought that they were below, she was 
sent to bring them up to the school-room. 
Places were soon found for them among their 
former school-mates, who were all delighted to 
see them ; and, as Bessie said, " it seemed 
quite as if they were all young again." 

Then Miss Ashton had a large basket of 
work brought in, and took from it a number 
of little garments cut out, but not made, which 
she laid upon the table before her. 

" I have six skirts and six aprons here," she 
said, " and three calico bags, which our little 
orphans must have to hold their lesson-books. 

Promising. 91 

I think we had better give the bags to those 
who are the youngest, or the least accustomed 
to sewing, — Bessie, Belle, and Mabel. Then 
the rest may choose, so far as you can, whether 
you will take a petticoat or an apron ; but as 
there is more work upon the petticoats than 
upon the aprons, 1 shall think it wiser for 
those who are not very industrious and per- 
severing to take the latter, so that they may 
be sure to finish their work. Or perhaps 
the older ones, Nellie, Maggie, Grace, and 
Dora, might take the skirts, and let the other 
five take aprons. As I said yesterday, the 
young ladies in the other room will finish 
whatever you leave." 

All were satisfied with this arrangement but 

" Miss Ashton," said Nellie Ransom, in 
rather a hesitating voice, as though she thought 
she might be drawing upon herself the dis- 
approval of her classmates, — " Miss Ashton, 
I think perhaps I had better only take an apron. 
I do not sew very fast, and I might not have a 

92 Lily Norris* Enemy, 

skirt done in time ; and I would rather take 
the apron, so that I may be sure to finish 

" Pooh ! " said Lily, " I should think any 
one might have a petticoat done in two weeks ! 
No, not pooh, either, Nellie, I forgot that was 
not courteous ; but then I should think you'd 
have plenty of time to make the skirt, and I'm 
going to take one 'stead of the apron, if Miss 
Ashton will let me." 

" I will let you," said her teacher. " I told 
you you should take what you pleased ; but, 
Lily, I think Nellie is a wise little girl not to 
undertake more than she feels sure she can do, 
and you would do well to follow her example. 
You do not like steady work, you know, Lily, 
and I should not wish the petticoat to be 
brought back to me half finished." 

" Oh, I'd never do that ! " exclaimed Lily. 
" I see, Miss Ashton, you think it prohalal 
that Nellie and I will be the hare and the 
tortoise, — Nellie the tortoise and I the hare ; 
but we'll be two tortoises, won't we, Nellie ? 

Promising: 93 

And please let me have the petticoat, Miss Ash- 
ton. I'll be sure, oh, sure to have it finished ! " 

Miss Ashton did as she was asked, and 
handed Lily the skirt ; but she looked as if she 
were not quite so sure that Lily would per- 
form all she promised ; and though she smiled 
as she gave the parcel to the little girl, she 
shook her head doubtfully, and said, — 

" Be careful, Lily, and do not put off till to 
morrow the task you should do to-day." 

" No, ma'am, " answered Lily, confidently, 
" 1 am quite cured of that. I wish you'd let 
me have two just to see how soon I will have 
them finished." 

" If you finish the petticoat at the end of 
ten days, you shall have some other thing to 
make," said Miss Ashton, rather gravely. 
" Nellie, my dear, here is your apron." 

The work was very neatly cut out and 
basted ; prepared so that the little girls 
might not find it difficult to do, or give more 
trouble than was actually necessary to their 
friends at home ; and each one opened her 

94 Lily JVorris J Enemy, 

parcel and examined it with great satisfaction 
after they were dismissed. 

" I expect Nellie's will be sewed the best, 
'cause she takes so much pains with every 
thing she does," said Bessie. " Hers and 
Dora's will be, for Dora is industrious too, 
and has a great deal of perseverance." 

" I think mine will be the best," said Gra- 
de, " for I sew very nicely. Mrs. Bradish 
told mamma she never saw a child of my age 
sew so neatly." 

" Proudy ! " said Lily, " you always think 
you do every thing better than anybody else ; 
and you always go and tell when any one makes 
you a compliment. Gracie, you do grow con- 
ceiteder and conceiteder every day. Pretty 
soon, we won't be able to stand you at all." 

" Why, Lily ! " said Belle, " you're a dread- 
ful anti-politer this morning." 

" I don't care," said Lily ; " Gracie dees 
make me so mad. Yes, I do care about being 
called an anti-politer too," she added on sec- 
ond thoughts ; " but, Gracie, 1 don't believe 

Promising. 95 

your work will be the best. I think like Bes- 
sie, that Nellie's will be, 'cause she sews so 
nicely ; and so does Maggie." 

" Anyhow mine will be done, and yours 
won't, I know," retorted Gracie, who always re- 
sented very strongly the idea that any other child 
could do as well or better than herself. " You 
always put off and procrastinate, so that you 
never have any thing ready at the right time." 

" Well, I'm not going to do so any more," 
said Lily; " and, anyhow, I'd rather be Fro 
than Proudy. It's very, very naughty to be 
proud, and it's only a — a — well, an incon- 
venient habit to procrastinate. And I'm pretty 
well cured of it now. Don't you be afraid my 
petticoat won't be done ; and don't let's be 
cross about it any more, Gracie." 

Peace was restored by her last words ; but 
here were Lily's snares and stumbling-blocks. 
Firstly, that she had too much confidence in 
her own strength, and was too sure that she 
could cure herself of this troublesome habit if 
she only chose to do so ; secondly, that she 

96 Lily JVorn's 1 Enemy, 

hardly looked upon it as a fault at all, and did 
not think it of much consequence, except just 
at the moment when it had brought some great 
annoyance upon herself or others. 

Lily was gay, light-hearted, and sweet-tem- 
pered, and trouble or disappointment seldom 
oppressed her spirits long, — all good things 
and great blessings in their proper times and 
places ; but she sometimes let this run into 
carelessness, and was often disposed to make too 
Light of her faults and their consequences. She 
certainly had warning and help enough in this 
case, if that were all she needed. 

She, Maggie and Bessie, Belle and Mabel 
all took the same way homeward ; and just 
before they parted, Maggie said, — 

" I have an idea ! Would it not be a 
good plan for us five to have a little sewing 
meeting at our house for these clothes, if 
mamma has no objections ? And it will seem 
to help us along, and not let it be so stupid ; for 
I do hate to sew." 

The other children agreed that it would be a 

Promising. 97 

capital arrangement ; and Maggie, turning to 
Bessie, asked if she thought mamma would be 

" For we better not make too many plans 
about it till we know what mamma would say," 
said Maggie, "or we might ' live in hope 
only to die in despair.' " 

Bessie thought mamma would be quite will- 
ing, but agreed with Maggie that it would be 
better not to build up too many arrangements 
on this till they knew what she had to say. 

" I would like to have asked all the class," 
said Maggie, " but I do not think mamma 
wants a great many children about now ; 
because grandmamma's house is being painted, 
and she and Aunt Annie and Uncle Ruthven 
and Aunt Bessie are all staying with us, and it 
makes a pretty large family, — a lovely large 
one," she added, with a nod of satisfaction in 
the present size of the household. 

" We'll ask mamma if we can have a 
meeting once a week till our things are all 
finished," said Bessie ; " and we can sew on 

98 Lily Norrii Enemy, 

them between times, and show each other how 
much we have done. And it may be a little 
help to you in not putting off, Lily," she said, 
rather anxiously. " I would be so sorry if 
your petticoat was not finished." 

" Oh v never fear," said Lily ; " you are all so 
afraid about me ; and I tell you, I'm not going 
to put off any more." 

" I am sorry, my daughter, that you took 
the petticoat instead of the apron," said Mrs. 
Norris, when Lily reached home and told her 
story of the morning's business. " There 
would have been more hope of your finishing 
the apron, with your unsteady ways about 
work and duties." 

" It is not a duty for me to make this, is it, 
mamma ? " asked Lily, unrolling the parcel 
and holding up the skirt. 

" Yes, it is a duty for you to do that which 
you have promised to do, is it not ?" 

" Yes, mamma ; but I need not have prom- 
ised if I did not choose." 

" No, you need not ; but now that you have 

Promising. 99 

undertaken it of your own free will, that makes 
it all the more a duty for you to finish it in 
time. Will you sew on it a little while this 
afternoon, after you have had your lunch ? " 

" No, mamma, I think not," said Lily. 
" Maggie and Bessie are going to ask their 
mamma if they can have us for a sewing 
meeting at their house, and I'll wait and see 
what they say. It will be fun." 

Mrs. Norris sighed as Lily gleefully rolled 
up her work and tossed it upon the table. 
This was not a very good beginning. 

" Put it away in the large work-box, dear," 
she said. 

" Presently, mamma ; I'm just going to tell 
Nora about it." 

" No, Lily, put it away at once. And 
remember, my darling, that I shall not allow 
Nora to finish it for you if you fall behind- 
hand through your own fault." 

" Oh, no, mamma," said Lily, as she obeyed 
her mother's order ; " but I would have put it 
away in a minute or two." 




OU will readily believe that Lily's " by 
and by " was long in coming, as it 
had often been before ; and this al- 
though her mamma and nurse both invited 
her more than once to come and begin her 

The evening brought a note from Maggie 
Bradford, which was as follows : — 

"Dear Lily, — Mamma says we may have 
the sewing meeting, and Aunt Annie says she 
will take care of it up in her room, which is 
very kind of her ; do you not think so ? When 
Baby Annie heard us talking about it, she said, 

But not Performing, 101 

" Me too ; " and we told her she should come 
if she would be good. Mamma says she is 
afraid she will be a disturbance, but she is so 
cunning that Bessie and 1 could not bear to 
tell her no ; and we will be very industrious, 
even if baby is funny. We make you a life- 
member of our society for two weeks, till we 
have the clothes all finished ; and we will have 
a meeting every Thursday afternoon. Come 
at three o'clock ; and Aunt Annie will tell us 
stories or read to us till four, while we sew, 
and then we will put away our work and 

" Yours respectfully and affectionately, 
" Maggie Stanton Bradford. 

" P. S. Bessie says of course you'd never 
think of such a thing as bringing ' Pro ' to 
the meeting. We wouldn't believe it of you ; 
but if you did, we should ' speed the parting 
guest,' which means to turn him out as quick 
as you can." 

" Maggie knows so many proverbs and wise 

102 Lily Norris^ Enemy. 

speeches, and always knows how to make a 
good use of them," said Lily, when Tom 
finished reading this epistle to her, she having 
been in too much haste to try to spell it out 
for herself. " Now, Tom, what are you laugh- 
ing at ? " 

" Why, I'm sure that is a good joke of 
Maggie's, and well worth being amused at," 
said Tom. 

" Oh, yes," said Lily, "she is very smart, 
and very funny too. I'm so glad we are going 
to have the sewing meeting; and, indeed, I 
don't take ' Pro ' with me." 

" I am afraid he has paid us a visit this 
afternoon, Lily,"- said Mrs. Norris. 

"Why, no, dear mamma; at least, I only 
thought I would wait till I heard what we were 
going to do at the meeting, and not begin before 
them. It is nicer to begin all together." 

" And I think you will find that all the other 
children have commenced their work to-day," 
said Mrs. Norris. " But we shall see." 

Lily's mainma was nearly as well pleased as 

But not Performing. 103 

her little daughter at the arrangement she had 
made with the Bradford children, for she hoped 
that their example, and the wish to keep pace 
with them, might help Lily to conquer her 
besetting fault in this instance at least ; and 
that shame might keep her from falling behind- 
hand with her work from week to week. 

The sewing meeting being a novelty, and 
Lily very anxious to " see what it would be 
like," she was willing to be made ready in good 
time the next day ; and actually arrived at the 
Bradfords' house eight minutes before three 
o'clock, which she, as well as the other chil- 
dren, took to be a decided sign of improvement 
in the punctuality line. 

Belle was there, but not Mabel, for the latter 
had taken a very bad cold, and could not come 

The little girls were soon all settled in Aunt 
Annie's room, each with her work ; but Lily 
was rather dismayed, and quite ashamed, to 
find her mother's words proved true, and that 
each one of the other three children had not 

104 Lily JVorrt's' Enemy, 

only commenced her work, but had completed 
quite a good piece upon it. Why, there was a 
whole seam and part of another done upon 
Maggie's petticoat; and she had not yet set 
the first stitch in hers! 

" Why ! haven't you done any on yours 
yet?" asked Bessie, in amazement. "Why 
didn't you begin it, Lily ? " 

"I thought to-day would be time enough," 
said Lily, rather sheepishly. " I'm sorry now 
I didn't begin it." 

" But it's too late to be sorry now," said 
Bessie, gravely shaking her head. " Procras- 
tination has been robbing Time again, Lily." 

" Never mind, I'll sew very fast to-day," 
was Lily's answer. 

As soon as she had the little girls all busy 
at 1heir work, Aunt Annie took up a book, and 
prepared to read a story to them. 

But scarcely had she commenced when the 
door, which stood ajar, was pushed open ; and 
" Tootins " walked in, with an air which seemed 
to say she was quite sure of her welcome. 

But not Performing. 105 

And who was " Tootins " ? you will say. A 
kitten ? 

Well, I believe she was a kind of two-footed 
kitten ; at least, she was as full of play and 
frolic and merry ways as any four-footed little 
puss that ever called old cat mother. As fond 
of being cuddled and petted now and then, too. 

" Tootins " was the dearest, cunningest, 
most fascinating little two-year-old bit of 
mischief that ever found out she had ten 
fingers, and the number of uses they could 
be put to. 

A mischief ! I should think she was ! Such 
restless, busy little fingers ! " Mademoiselle 
Touche-a-tout" Uncle Buthven named her. 
Such an inquisitive little mind I Such never- 
tiring, pattering little feet ! Such a sweet voice, 
and such a crooked, cunning tongue ! 

When you saw her, you wanted to catch her 
up, and pet and hug her, she was so fair and 
round and dimpled ; but that did not always 
suit Miss " Tootins." She thought her two 
small feet were made to be used, and she did 

106 Lily Nor r is* Enemy. 

not choose that they should be deprived of any 
of their privileges, except by her own free will. 
So she generally struggled to be put down 
again ; and, dear me ! how sorry you were to 
let her go ! 

But sometimes, as I have said, she wanted 
to be cuddled and petted ; and then she would 
nestle to you, so dear and sweet, with her 
sunny head upon your arm, her great starry 
eyes fastened upon your face, while you talked 
baby-talk to her, or told her simple verses and 
stories. Understand you, do you ask ? In- 
deed, she understood every thing you said; 
more than you could have believed possible. 

Pure pink and white skin; eyes blue as 
heaven ; golden hair ; yes, real golden hair, for 
when the sunlight fell upon her curls, they 
looked like threads of burning gold ; shouldei s 
and hands and arms that looked as if they 
were only made to be kissed ; a gurgling, 
rippling laugh ; and oh, such cunning, wheed- 
ling ways ! That is our "Tootins;" other- 
wise, Baby ,lnnie. Our " Tootins," did I say ? 

But not Performing, 107 

"Well, I suppose I must call her Mrs. Bradford's 
" Tootins ; " but then, you see, I have drawn 
her picture from life, and, having before my 
eyes just such a pet and darling of my own, it 
came very natural to say " our Tootins." 

But how did she come by such a funny 
name? you will ask again. 

Well, that was a name her little brother 
Frankie had given her when she was a tiny 
baby ; no one knew why he did it, but he did, 
and he always called her by it ; and of late, 
if any one called her by any other name, he 
always pretended he did not know of whom 
they spoke. And so "Tootins" had come to 
be a sort of twin pet name with " Baby," and 
little Annie was called as much by one as by 
the other. 

As I have said, she came in as if quite 
assured of her welcome, for Baby Annie was 
accustomed to have her society courted, and 
rather imagined she was conferring a favor 
when she bestowed it upon her friends. More- 
over, she had been promised that she should 

108 Lily Nor r is 1 Enemy, 

join the others on this occasion, why or with 
what purpose she did not understand ; but she 
knew that her sisters had talked of Belle and 
Lily coming. She was fond of Belle and Lily, 
and had demanded a share in their company, 
and here they were now. This she knew very 
well, and so she came in, followed by old 
nurse, who had her own doubts as to whether 
baby would be considered a serviceable member 
of the sewing circle. 

But " Tootins' " expectations proved well- 
founded, for she was greeted with exclama- 
tions of pleasure ; and after submitting to the 
necessary amount of hugging and kissing, she 
was accommodated with a bench at Aunt 
Annie's feet, and mammy told that she might 
leave her. 

But was it really possible that any one 
thought baby was going to sit still on that 
footstool ? If so, she soon undeceived them ; 
and the busy little fingers were, as usual, 
searching about for what mischief they could 
find to do. 

But not Performing. 109 

First, she overturned Maggie's workbox, 
and having contrived, during the picking up 
of the contents, secretly to possess herself of 
the eyelet-piercer, was presently discovered 
boring holes in her own tiny shoe. The nexf 
thing which took her fancy was a small vase 
of flowers, which being within her reach was 
dragged over, the water spilled upon the floor 
and the flowers scattered, before Aunt Annie 
could prevent it. Happily, the vase was not 
broken, for which Miss Baby took great credit 
to herself, declaring over and over again that 
she was " dood," — little Pharisee that she was. 

By the time that this disturbance was over, 
order restored, and the members of the sewing 
society settled once more in their places, baby 
had retired into privacy behind the window 
curtain ; and, being suspiciously quiet, Aunt 
Annie thought proper to inquire into her 
occupation, when she was discovered indus- 
triously taking pins from a pin-cushion, and 
sticking them into the carpet. 

"Oh, what a mischievous, naughty little 

no Lily JVornV Enemy, 

girl ! " said Aunt Annie. " Shall I call mammy 
to take you away ? " 

" No, 'deed, Nan," was the answer ; " Nan * 
being baby's name for Aunt Annie. 

" Will you be good and quiet then ? " 

"'Es'deed," said baby, resigning the pin- 
cushion into Aunt Annie's hands, and trotting 
off in search of fresh pastures. 

A large trunk was in the room, the lid 
standing open ; and Miss Stanton had already 
called baby three or four times from its dan- 
gerous neighborhood. But the straps which 
kept the lid from falling back seemed to have 
a peculiar attraction for the little one ; and 
once more she went over to the corner where 
it was placed, and, taking hold of one of these 
straps, would in another moment have crushed 
both tiny hands by pulling the whole weight of 
the lid upon them, had not Maggie sprung up 
and caught it just in time. 

" You had better call nurse to take her 
away, Maggie ; she is too troublesome, and we 
shall accomplish nothing while she is here,' 

Lily Norris. 

p. 110. 

But not Performing, ill 

said her aunt, now really vexed. But when 
she heard this, Baby Annie put up such a 
grieved lip and looked so piteous that the 
other children all pleaded for her ; and Miss 
Stanton said she would try her once more. 

" Shall Aunt Annie tell you a pretty story ? " 
she asked, seating the little mischief in the 
corner of the sofa, where she would be out of 
harm's way so long as she could be persuaded 
to remain there. 

Baby assented eagerly, for she always liked 
a story ; and Aunt Annie began, the little one 
listening intently, with hands quietly folded in 
her lap, and her great blue eyes fixed on her 
aunt's face. 

" Once there was a little girl, and she was a 
very good little girl, and always did as she was 
told. When her auntie said, 'You must be 
still,' she was as quiet as a little mouse, and 
made no noise. When her mamma said, 
; Come here,' she always came ; and when her 
nursey said, ' Do not touch that thing,' she 
never touched it. She did not take the pins, 

112 Lily JVorrzY Enemy, 

because she knew it was naughty, and that 
mamma would say, 'No, no ; ' and she did 
not pull at the flowers, because she knew her 
auntie would say, ' Let them alone ; ' and she 
did not touch Maggie's workbox, because she 
knew she was not to have it. And oh, dear 
me ! why, she never would do such a naughty 
thing as to touch the trunk, because she knew 
it would hurt her little fingers, oh, so badly ! 
and then she would have to cry. So every one 
loved this baby, and said, ' What a good little 
girl ! Come here, good little girl ; ' and gave 
her pretty flowers of her own, and let her stay 
in the room, and did not send her away to the 

Here Aunt Annie paused, to see what effect 
her moral tale was making on the small 
listener for whose benefit it was intended. 
Baby was intensely interested, and when Aunt 
Annie ceased speaking, gravely ejaculated the 
one syllable, " More." 

The other children, who thought this ex- 
tremely funny, were trying to hide their smiles 

But not Performing. 113 

that tliey might not spoil the lesson the story 
was intended to convey. 

" Then there was another little girl," con- 
tinued Aunt Annie, " such a naughty little girl, 
who would not mind what was said to her. 
When her mamma said, * Don't go to the head 
of the stairs when the gate is open,' she would 
not mind, but she did go ; and she fell down 
stairs, and bumped her poor little head. And 
she took the piercer, and made holes in her 
new shoes ; and mamma said, ' Oh, the 
naughty baby! She must sit on the bed 
with no shoes on because she did such a bad 
thing.' And she took the scissors and cut her 
little fingers, and they hurt her so badly, and 
bled. And the pins too, and she put them in 
the carpet where they pricked grandmamma's 
feet ; and grandmamma said, ' That naughty, 
naughty baby ! ' And what do you think hap- 
pened to her one day ? She would touch the 
trunk when her auntie said, ' Come away ; ' 
and the lid fell down, and cut off all the poor 
little fingers, and the little girl had no more 

114 -L*fy Norris' Enemy. 

fingers to play with, or to love mamma with, 
or to look at the pretty picture-books with. 
Oh, poor little girl ! that was because she 
would not be good." 

Nothing could outdo the intense gravity of 
the little one's face and demeanor as she 
listened to this thrilling tale, and drank in 
each word. It was certainly making a great 
impression, Aunt Annie thought. 

" Now," she said, thinking to strength- 
en and give point to this, "who was the 
good little girl who always did as she was 

" Tootins," said the baby, with an air of 
supreme self-satisfaction, and conscious virtue, 
which set all the other children giggling. 

" And who," asked Aunt Annie, trying to 
command her own face, as she put the second 
question, " was the naughty little girl who 
did all those bad things, and was so much 
hurt ? " 

" Na-a-an ! " shouted baby, changing her air 
of delighted self-approbation to one of stern 

But not Performing. 115 

reproof and bitter indignation against her 
would-be teacher. . 

To describe the peals of gleeful laughter 
which followed this sudden turning of the 
tables would be impossible. Roguish Lily 
went capering and whirling about the room 
in an ecstasy of fun and enjoyment at this 
capital hit ; and all thought it the most excel- 
lent joke they had heard this long time. It 
would have been impossible to help joining in 
their merry peals of laughter, even had not 
Aunt Annie herself been heartily amused at 
the little rogue's cuteness ; and baby, finding 
she had said a good thing, joined her own 
rippling laugh to the general merriment, to 
which she further added by now saying, " Oh, 
dear ! me so funny." 

The laughter and merry voices brought 
mamma to see what the great joke could be ; 
and Miss Baby now thought proper to deprive 
them of her society, slipping down from her 
nest on the sofa, and running to her mother 
with, — 

Ii6 Lily Nor r if Enemy. 

" Me better do wis my mamma. 

" Tootins " always considered she had 
"better" do whatever she wished to do. 

And now perhaps you will say, What has all 
this long story about " Tootins " to do with Lily 
and procrastination ? 

Why, just this ; that from the moment the 
baby had entered the room, Lily's attention 
had been entirely diverted from her sewing. 
In vain did that faithful little monitor, Bessie, 
endeavor by hints and signs, and softly whis- 
pered words, to persuade her to keep on with 
the work already so far behindhand. For to all 
her entreaties, Lily only answered, " There's 
time enough," or, " I'm going to do it in a 
minute," and so forth ; while she watched the 
baby, and was rather disposed to encourage 
her in her mischief. And when Miss Stanton 
put little Annie up on the sofa, and began to 
tell her the story, Lily dropped her sewing 
upon the floor, and, leaving her seat, hung over 
the arm of the couch, listening and idling 
away her time. The other children were 

But not Performing. 117 

amused, too, at Annie's pranks, especially at 
this last one, but they kept on sewing indus- 
triously ; even little Belle, who was unac- 
customed to it, laboriously and with much 
painstaking, setting in stitch after stitch. 

But even this good example had no effect 
on Lily; and seeing this, Aunt Annie was 
not sorry when " the little hindering thing " 
declared she had "better do wis " her mother. 
Mrs. Bradford thought so too ; and carried 
away the cunning but provoking monkey. 

" Lily ! " said Maggie, reproachfully, " 1 
thought you were not going to bring Pro with 

" Well, I didn't," said Lily. " I'm sure I've 
been sewing ; at least, I've sewed some ; and 
I was just looking at Annie for a moment." 

" For a good many moments, Lily," said 
Miss Stanton ; " and even when you had your 
work in your hand, you put in the stitches 
very slowly and carelessly. See there, Lily," 
taking up the end of the seam on which Lily 
W4S now working in great haste, in order to 

n8 Lily JVorrzY Enemy. 

make up for lost time, " what long, uneven 
stitches, my dear child." 

" Oh, they'll do, Miss Annie," said Lily. 
u I'll do the resi better ; but I must have this 
seam done to-day." 

Miss Stanton looked grave, and shook her 
head, and it was not a usual thing for gay, 
merry Annie Stanton to look serious ; and 
Lily saw that she, like other people, did not 
think so lightly of this habit which she con- 
sidered of so little consequence. 

For, as you will have perceived, Lily had 
already forgotten the sad lesson she had re- 
ceived in the matter of the silver inkstand ; 
and Maggie, Bessie, and Belle afterwards 
acknowledged to one another that their prov- 
erb picture had quite failed to produce the 
good effect they had hoped for. 

" Let's keep the sewing meeting in a little 
longer," she said, when the hour was over, 
and the other children were preparing to put 
by their work, which had made good progress 
during that time. 

But not Performing. 119 

" No," said Miss Annie, " an hour's steady 
work is enougli for any little girl, and the 
others are tired. They have done enough for 

" I think I'll do a little more," said Lily, 
who felt ashamed as she compared her own 
work with that of her young companions, and 
saw how much more they had accomplished. 

" As you please," said Miss Stanton ; " but 
I cannot attend to you longer, Lily. I am 
going out to dinner, and must dress now. 1 
hope you will do better before next Thurs- 

Lily went away with the others, intending 
to sew while they played, at least, for a while ; 
but, as you may believe, when she saw them all 
engaged with their dolls, Procrastination came 
and put her virtuous resolution to flight, whis 
pering that she could make up for lost time 
to-morrow ; and, as usual, he had his way, and 
the petticoat was soon altogether forgotten. 



ILY, darling," said Mrs. Norris, on 
Saturday morning, " let me see 
how the little orphan's petticoat 

Lily went, rather sheepishly it must be con- 
fessed, and brought the skirt to her mother. 

"Is this all you have done? — this little 
piece of a seam ? " said Mrs. Norris. " And 
so badly too. Why, my child ! what have you 
been thinking of? You can sew far better 
than this." 

Lily fidgeted, and hung her head. 

" Did you not all sew yesterday, when you 

What came of That. 121 

were at Mrs. Bradford's ? " asked her mamma, 
examining the work still more closely. 

" Yes, mamma," murmured Lily. 

" And did you not say Miss Annie showed 
you how it was to be done ? " 

" Yes, mamma." 

" How is it, then, that you have done so very 
little, and that little so badly ? " 

" Why, you see, mamma," said Lily, hesitat- 
ingly, " I did not have much sewed, only a 
few stitches, and I wanted to catch up with 
the others; and so — and so — so the stitches 
wouldn't come very nice." 

" And why did you not have as much accom- 
plished as the other children ? This is a very 
poor hour's work, dear." 

" Yes, mamma; but Baby Annie was so fun- 
ny, and I couldn't help looking at her, and I 
thought I would have time enough. It was 
such a horridly short hour ; it was gone before 
I had time to do much." 

" Ah, Lily," said Mrs. Norris, " it is the same 
old story, I fear. Procrastination, and want 

122 Lily JVorris 9 Enemy, 

of attention to the duty of the time, and per- 
haps a little idleness and heedlessness added 
to them. These last two are great helpers 
to procrastination, Lily ; or perhaps I should 
say, procrastination is a great helper to the sad 
fault of idleness. It is so very easy, when we do 
not feel industrious, to believe that another time 
will answer as well for the duty or work we 
should do now. So the duty is put off ; and then, 
when shame or need calls us to the neglected 
task, it is hurried through heedlessly, and it 
may be so badly that it is quite useless, or must 
be done over again, as this must, my child." 

" Mamma ! " exclaimed Lily, in a tone in 
which there was displeasure as well as dis- 

" Yes, indeed, my daughter. I cannot allow 
this to be returned to Miss Ashton with such 
work upon it. You are but a little girl, and no 
one would expect to see such neat sewing come 
from your hands as from those of an older per- 
son ; but I should be ashamed to have it thought 
that my Lily cannot do better than this." 

What came of That, 123 

" Then I'll never have the petticoat done at 
all," said Lily, her eyes filling with tears. " It 
is 'most a week now since Miss Ashton 
gave them to us, and if I have to take that out 
it will be all to do from the beginning, and 
Maggie and Bessie and Belle have ever so 
much done on theirs, and I shan't have one 
stitch done on mine." 

Mrs. Norris looked grieved at the rebellious 

" Whose fault'is it, Lily ?" she asked sorrow- 

Lily hesitated for a moment ; then, for the 
first time in her life, temper had the better of 
her love and reverence for her mother, and she 
answered passionately, — 

" Yours, if you make me pull that out ! " 

For a moment, surprise held Mrs. Norris 
silent and motionless. Never before had Lily 
spoken so to her ; never before had she been 
other than her loving, docile little child, not 
always strictly obedient it might be, but that 
was not so much from wilfulness as from that 

124 JLtfy JVornY Enemy, 

sad habit of putting off, — of not obeying at 

Then the surprise died out, and left only 
pain and grief; and while Lily was wondering 
what mamma would do, could do, after such a 
dreadful thing as that (for the very utterance 
of the words had sobered her, and calmed down 
her temper), Mrs. Norris rose, and laying down 
the skirt, without one word, without one look 
at her naughty little child, slowly and sorrow- 
fully left the room. 

Lily stood still one moment, herself almost 
breathless with surprise and dismay at what 
she had done. Had she really said such 
dreadful words to mamma ? and could mamma 
ever, ever forgive them ? Her own dear, lov- 
ing, indulgent mamma to hear such words from 
the lips of her own, only little daughter. 
What would papa say, what would Tom say, 
when they should know it ? what would Mag- 
gie and Bessie say ? For when mamma treated 
her as she deserved to be treated from this 
time forth, they would surely know that some- 

What came of That. 125 

thing was wrong, and must learn what she had 
done. And, oh I how angry God must be with 
her ! 

Some little boys and girls, who are in the 
habit of saying unkind and disrespectful things 
to their mothers, — and, alas ! there are too 
many such, — may wonder at our Lily's dis- 
tress and remorse ; but Lily was not accus- 
tomed to behave in this way to her mother ; as 
you have heard, it was the first time in her life 
that she had done so, and now she was fairly 
frightened when she remembered how she had 
let passion master her. 

And what had brought this about ? 

Lily did not think of it just then, in all the 
tumult of feeling which swelled her little 
heart ; but had it not all arisen from the sad 
habit of procrastination, of which she thought 
so lightly ? 

She felt as if she dared not run after 
her mother, and ask her forgiveness. True, 
mamma always was ready to forgive her when 
she was penitent after any naughtiness ; but 

126 Lily JVorri's' Enemy. 

then — oh ! she had never, never done any 
thing like this before — and Lily threw her- 
self down upon the rug in a paroxysm of tears 
and sobs. 

By and by the door was opened, and 
Tom came in. He stood still for a mo- 
ment in surprise at the state in which he 
found his little sister, then came forward. 

" My pet, what is it ? What is the matter ? " 
he said, stooping over her, and trying to raise 
her. But Lily resisted ; and so Tom sat down 
on the floor beside her. A fresh burst of sobs 
came from Lily. 

" What is it, dear ? " asked Tom again. 
" Shall I call mamma? " 

" Oh, no, no ! " sobbed Lily. " She wouldn't 
c-c-come if you did. She'll never want to 
come near m-me a-a-gain." 

" Why ? What is wrong ? " asked Tom, whose 
fears that Lily was ill or had hurt herself 
were now removed ; for he saw that it was not 
bodily but mental trouble which ailed her. 

" Oh ! I've done the most horrid, the most 

What came of That. 127 

dreadful thing, Tom," confessed Lily, still 
hardly able to speak for the fast-coming tears 
and sobs. " Oh ! I spoke so wickedly to mam- 
ma ; to my own dear, precious, darling mamma. 
It was 'most worse than the inkstand, oh, it was, 
it was ! I'm so bad, oh, such a bad child ! " 

" Are you willing to tell me about it ? " 
asked Tom, soothingly. 

Lily raised her head, and threw it upon her 
brother's knee, allowing him to wipe away her 
tears ; although, as she told her story, they 
flowed as fast as he dried them. 

"Lily," said Tom, hoping that this might 
prove a good lesson to her, — ah ! how often 
had Lily's friends vainly hoped that the trouble 
she brought upon herself might prove of ser- 
vice to her, — " Lily, how was it that your 
work was so very badly done ? " 

And Lily made a fresh confession, Tom 
gently leading her back to what he truly 
suspected to be the first cause of all this 

" Lily, dear," he said, " I am sure I do not 

128 Lily Norris* Enemy, 

want to seem to find fault with you, or to 
reproach you when you are feeling so badly ; 
but I would like you to see how all this has 
come about. You think it such a small fault, 
such a very little thing, to put off your duties, 
and even your pleasures, if it happens to suit 
the convenience of the moment. As to pleas- 
ures, I suppose that does not matter much, so 
long as we do not let our want of punctuality 
interfere with the pleasure of others ; but 
although it may not be what we call a great 
sin in itself, just see into what sin and sorrow 
procrastination may lead us. One little duty 
neglected or put off may interfere with 
another ; or, as you have done, we may have 
to hurry through with it in such a manner as 
to leave it worse than if we had not tried to 
do it at all. And so we are disappointed and 
vexed, and perhaps we grow cross and ill- 
tempered, or fly into a passion, and do some 
very wrong or unkind thing." 

" Yes; or behave worse than any child that 
ever lived, to our darling, lovely, precious 

What came of That. 129 

mammas, just like me," broke forth poor, 
penitent Lily. 

" Yes," said Tom, gravely, but kindly, " you 
see to what it has led you, — disrespect and im- 
pertinence to dear mamma. Is not this enough, 
Lil darling, to show you how much pain and 
trouble may come from this habit, and why 
you ought to try to break yourself of it ? It 
is not only the inconvenience which must come 
from it, but the wrong which may grow from it, 
which should teach us to try and keep it from 
gaining a hold upon us. Do you see, Lil ? " 

" I should think I did," said Lily, dolefully, 
though she now sat upright, but with a most 
rueful and despairing countenance. "I should 
think it had made me bad enough to see what 
it can do. But, Tom," — with an admiring look 
at her brother from the midst of her gloom 
and distress, — " but, Tom, what a wise boy you 
are ! You talk as if you were grown up ; quite 
as if you were a minister ; only I understand 
all you say, and I don't understand all minis- 
ters say." 


130 Lily JVomV Enemy. 

"No, I suppose not," said Tom, speaking 
more gayly ; " but we will not have any more 
preaching just now, only — I would like to 
tell you a story, Lily. Shall I ? " 

" Yes, indeed, please do," answered Lily, 
brightening a little at the prospect. 

" It is a very sad story, but I thought it 
would just fit here," said her brother. 

" I'm not in a state of mind for a pleasant 
story," said Lily, who had lately fallen into 
the way of using long words, and " grown-up " 
phrases, after the example of her little friends, 
Maggie and Bessie. 

" No, I suppose not," said Tom, suppressing 
all inclination to smile. " Well, you know 
Will Sturges, Lily ? " 

"Oh, yes, that very sorry-looking boy, whose 
father is dead, you told me," said Lily. " Tom, 
it always makes me feel sorry to see him. He 
hardly ever smiles, or looks happy. You 
know mamma told you to ask him here often, 
and see if you could not brighten him up ; 
but he don't seem to brighten up at all 

What came of That. 131 

Bessie said he looked ' as if he had a weight 
on his mind ' all the time." 

" Ah ! that is just it,' 1 said Tom. " He has 
a terrible weight on his mind ; a grief that is 
there night and day. He thinks it is through his 
fault that his father was killed ; and I suppose 
that it is so. At least it was brought about 
by a small neglect of his, — procrastination, or 
putting off, Lily." 

" Did he ever put off? " asked the little girl, 
opening great eyes of wonder. " Why, he 
always seems so very punctual, so very ready 
just when he ought to be." 

" Yes," said Tom, " but he was not always 
so, dear. Never was a more unpunctual, a 
more dilatory boy than Will Sturges used to 
be. Poor dear fellow ! he has learned better 
by such a sad lesson. I hope my little sister 
may never have the like." 

" I'm sure," said Lily, " I don't know who 
has had a sad lesson, if I have not." 

"Ah! but, Lily," said her brother, " you have 
yet the time and chance to show you are sorry, 

132 Lily Nor r is' Enemy, 

and want to try to do better — if you really 
do repent — and to gain forgiveness from the 
one you have injured, — dear mamma; but 
poor Will, he never had the chance to make up 
for his neglect of his duty." 

" Tell me," begged Lily, all curiosity and 

" Well," said Tom, " Will Stages used to 
be, as he is now, about the brightest and 
quickest boy in our class." 

Lily shook her head doubtfully at this ; it 
was all Tom's modesty, she thought, and more 
than she could conveniently believe. Tom 
understood her, but continued his story with- 
out interruption. 

" But, for all that, he never was at the head 
of his class, nor even took a very high stand- 
ing in it ; for never was such a boy for being 
behindhand as Will Stages. Every thing 
that could be put off was put off, and he never 
seemed to like to attend to any duty or task 
at the proper moment. It was not laziness 
either, for he would leave some small task 

What came of That. 133 

which should have been done at once, perhaps 
to take up one that was far harder, but which 
might well have waited till he had finished the 
first. He never could be persuaded to attend 
to his regular lessons first, but would let him- 
self be led away from them, not always by 
play or pleasure, but often to take up some 
book which there was no need for him to 
study, always believing and saying that there 
was ' time enough ' — 'no hurry ' — 'by and 
by he would do it,' and so forth ; until, as you 
may suppose, his lessons were left until the 
last moment, when they would be scrambled 
through, and Will just contrived to keep him- 
self from disgrace. It was so with every 
thing ; he never was ready in time for either 
work or pleasure. If he were going on a 
journey, or any excursion, ten to one but he 
was left behind by being too late for the boat 
or train ; all his own fault too, for his father 
and mother used to take pains enough to have 
him ready in time. When Mr. Peters took 
the school on a picnic or frolic, it was always 

134 Lily Nor r is' Enemy. 

a part of the entertainment to see Will come 
tearing down the dock, or by the side of the 
cars just at the last moment, often after the 
last moment, and when it was too late. No 
boj in school had so many tardy marks ; none 
lost so many books, papers, and pencils, because 
he always thought it was time enough to put 
them in their places by and by. No lesson did 
him any good, no disappointment or incon- 
venience he brought upon himself seemed to 
cure him ; until at last the sad thing happened 
of which I am going to tell you. 

" One afternoon his father said to him, 
* Will, if you are going out, I wish these 
papers posted at the station. Take them with 
you, and attend to them at once, my son, be- 
fore you go upon your own errand. They must 
go to grandfather by to-night's train. Can I 
depend upon you for once ? ' ' Yes, indeed, 
you may, sir,' promised Will, meaning what 
he said too ; and when he left the house, he 
intended to go directly to the post-office station. 
But he had not gone far when he met a friend ; 

What came of That. 135 

and tliis boy begged him to go home with him, 
and see a fine new dog he had just bought. 
Will hesitated, looked at his watch, and found 
that there were still nearly two hours before 
the next mail would leave the station, that 
mail by which the papers must go if they were 
to reach the evening train. ' There'll be plenty 
of time, and all papa cared for was that 
they should reach the station before the mail 
left it,' he said to himself; and he went with 
his friend. He stayed with him more than 
an hour ; then he said good-by, having, as he 
promised himself, more than time enough to 
reach the post, and mail his papers. But, just 
as he was about leaving the house, a little 
brother of his friend fell downstairs, hurting 
himself very badly ; and, in the hurry and dis- 
tress of the moment, he was begged to run for 
the doctor. He forgot his papers — indeed, 
how could one refuse such an errand at such a 
time ? — and ran for the doctor, who lived far 
off, and in quite a different direction from the 
station. This last was not his fault, and if he 

136 Lily JVorris 9 Enemy, 

had obeyed his father at once all would have 
been right ; but, what with one thing and an- 
other, he was too late, and the mail had left. 
He tried all he could to send the papers by 
that evening train, but it was useless, for he 
could find no one to take charge of them, and 
he knew it would not do to trust them to 
chance hands. So he could do nothing but 
take them home again, which he did, and con- 
fessed his fault. His father looked very grave ; 
but, as poor Will has often told me, did not 
scold him, only saying, ' Then I shall probably 
have to leave town myself to-morrow, and it 
will be a great inconvenience to me. I fear, 
my boy, that you will never learn the value 
of punctuality and the evil of procrastination 
until they are taught you by some severe 
lesson.' Poor, dear old Will ! what a lesson 
that was to be ! Well, his father was tele- 
graphed the next day to come himself, since 
the papers had not arrived ; and he left his 
home, Lily, never to come back. The train 
by which he went met with a fearful accident, 

What came of Thai, 137 

and Mr. Sturges was killed in an instant. 
And from that day Will has been the sad, 
melancholy fellow you see him ; for he blames 
himself for his father's death, and says but for 
him he would have remained at home, and so 
been safe. And, Lily, we must see that it is so, 
and that, if Will had not put off the duty he 
should have attended to, all this would prob- 
ably never have taken place. If you could 
hear him talk about it ! " 

Lily drew a long sigh, partly from pity for 
Will Sturges, partly from dread of what sor- 
rows might come to herself if she were not 
cured of this sad fault, then said, — 

" But, after all, Tom, he was not so bad to 
his father as I was to mamma, for he did not 
mean to be naughty, and I'm afraid I did. Do 
you know, I was in a real passion, a passionate 
passion, with mamma. 0, Tom ! what shall 
I do ? " 

" What ought you to do first ? " asked 

" Go and ask mamma to forgive me ; but 

138 Lily Norrii Enemy, 

how can she, Tom ? " asked Lily, sobbing 

" Mamma would forgive any thing, if she 
thought you were truly sorry," said her 

" I'm sure I am," answered the little girl. 
" If she could see in my heart, she would 
know it very well." 

" You can show her what is in your heart, 
dear, by letting her see that you are really try- 
ing to break yourself of the troublesome fault 
which has led you to behave so to her." 

Lily threw her arms around her brother's 
neck, and kissed him ; the next moment she 
was gone in search of her mamma. When 
she reached her, she could find no words, 
none but a piteous " mamma ! " But her 
voice and her face spoke for her ; and in 
another moment she was clinging fast around 
her mother's neck, her dear, kind arms 
about her, her kiss of forgiveness on the little 
head which buried itself in shame and contri- 
tion upon her shoulder. 

What came of That. 139 

But, though Lily was forgiven, she could not 
recover her spirits all that day, a thing very 
unusual with her ; but then, as she said, she 
had " never been so wickedly naughty before," 
and she felt as if she could not do enough to 
make up to her mother for her offence. 

She was rather droll, too, as she was apt to 
be, when by any means she fell into low 

When her papa came home, she did not go 
to meet him with her usual light and dancing 
step ; and he missed that, and the joyous face 
with which she was accustomed to greet him. 

" Why," he said, " what ails my little sun- 
beam to-day ? " for Mr. Norris had heard 
of Belle's idea about the sunbeams in the 
family, and he delighted to call his Lily so. 

" fm not a sunbeam to-day , papa," said 

" You're not a little cloud, I hope," said 

"Oh, no ! " answered Lily, mournfully, " not 
even so good as a cloud. I've been so very, 

140 Lily Norrii Enemy, 

very naughty that I believe I'm a — a " — 
Lily was racking her imagination for a com- 
parison that should seem severe enough — 
" I've been quite a January thaw, papa." 

Mr. Norris opened the door of the coat 
closet, and hastily put his head therein, taking 
a remarkably long time to hang up his hat, 
Lily thought. 

Now you must know that a January thaw 
was Lily's idea of all that was most disagree- 
able in the weather. For, the last winter, she 
had had a severe attack of diphtheria ; and 
just as she was well enough to go out, a long 
spell of damp, foggy days set in, keeping her 
a prisoner for some weeks longer, and depriv- 
ing her of many little pleasures on which she 
had set her heart. 

" She must not go outside of the door until 
this January thaw is over," the doctor said 
several times ; and Lily had come to look upon 
this as the very worst specimen of weather. 

" Don't you scorn me, papa ? " she asked, 
when she had made her confession to him. 

What came of That. 141 

u No, I do not scorn you by any means, 
Lily," he answered; "and I am glad to see 
that yon do really feel your fault, for it gives 
me hope that you may try to correct it with 
more earnestness than you have yet done." 

And then he talked to her for some time 
longer, setting before her very plainly all the 
trouble and inconvenience, yes, and sin too, 
which might come from indulgence in this 
habit of procrastination. 

Certainly our Lily did not want for teachers, 
both wise and kind ; for her friends, young 
and old, seemed all to have set themselves to 
give her help in the right way, if she would 
but heed them. 



T did really seem now that Lily was 
taking herself to task in earnest, and 
it was surprising to see how much 
she improved during the next few days. 
There was no more dilly-dallying with any 
little duty or task she had to perform; if 
her mother or any other person asked some 
small service from her, she ran promptly and 
at once ; when Nora called her to make ready 
for school or her walk, there was no more 
stopping u only to do this," or "just to look at 
that." She was not once tardy at school ; 
not once late at meals, a thing which her father 
disliked extremely, but to which Lily had until 

A Little Talk. 143 

now paid but little heed. Play and nonsense 
were given up at school, save at the proper 
times, and she came to her classes with her 
lessons correctly prepared ; for, when Lily 
failed here, it was not from stupidity, or want 
of quickness, but simply from idleness, or her 
habit of saying " there's time enough still." 

The little petticoat, too, was progressing 
nicely, with a prospect of being finished in time 
after all ; for Lily had begged her mamma to 
divide it off into certain portions, so much to 
be done on each day, that she might know her 
appointed task, and so be sure to have it com- 
pleted. And she persevered, though the little 
unaccustomed fingers did grow rather tired 
every day before they were through with the 
allotted portion of seam or hem ; for, having 
been so idle, or rather procrastinating, she 
found it hard to make up for lost time. 
Now she regretted that she had not taken the 
advice of her mother and teacher, and chosen 
one of the little aprons, instead of the petticoat. 

Nora could not bear to see her plodo ng 

144 Z*ily JSforrii Enemy* 

away over it, and more than once begged Mrs. 
Norris to let her help Lily, or " give her a lift, " 
as she called it. 

But Mrs. Norris refused, for she had told 
Lily that she would not allow this ; and much 
as she would have liked to relieve her little 
girl, she did not think it best, and hoped that 
the burden she had brought upon herself might 
be of service to her. 

However, when the next Thursday came, 
and Lily was to go to the second " sewing meet 
ing," she was very glad that she had so much 
done on her petticoat. 

" For I would be too ashamed to go to-day 
if I had not done better than I did last 
week, mamma," she said. " And two or three 
of the children in our class have finished their 
work already ; and here is old me with mine 
not quite half done." 

Lily was very " scornful, " as she would have 
called it, of herself in these days, and rather 
delighted in heaping uncomplimentary names 
and reproaches upon her own head. 

A Little Talk. 145 

When she reached Mrs. Bradford's house at 
the appointed time, she was rather dismayed 
to find that, in spite of her industry of the last 
few days, the other children had accomplished 
much more than she had done. Maggie's skirt 
was so near completion that she had but a little 
piece of the hem to do ; and she had only left 
this, in order that she might, as she said keep 
company with the rest in the sewing meeting. 
And Maggie had made a button-hole ! Yes, 
actually made a button-hole ! It was her 
first attempt, but still it was tolerably well 
done. It had cost her a good deal of trouble 
too, and even some few tears ; but she had 
persevered, and now was glad that she had 
done so. 

"Patience and Perseverance conquer all 
things, you know," she said to Lily, when 
Bessie, with some pardonable pride in her 
sister's success, displayed this triumph of art ; 
" but I really thought that button-hole must 
conquer me, only I wouldn't let it, if I did 
cry a little about it." 

146 Lily JVornV Enemy. 

Bessie, too, had nearly finished her bag ; al- 
though Belle was rather behind the others, she 
had a fair prospect of being quite through with 
her task in time. 

They all encouraged Lily, and told her she 
might still finish her petticoat by the appointed 
day, if she would but continue to do as well as 
she was now doing. 

The sewing meeting passed off this day 
without hindrance ; for Baby Annie was not 
admitted ; and there was nothing else espe- 
cially to take off Lily's attention from the task 
in hand. Aunt Annie read an interesting 
story, it was true, but all the little girls sewed 
industriously as they listened ; and at the end 
of the hour Maggie's petticoat and Bessie's bag 
were completed, while those of Belle and Lily 
had made fair progress. 

" I have only three more days," said the 
latter, " for you know we have to give in the 
things on Tuesday, and this is Thursday." 

Lily's tone was rather hopeless. 

" 1 think you might finish your skirt in two 

A little Talk. 147 

days, Lily," said Miss Stanton. " Two hours' 
steady work such as you have given to it to-day 
would be quite time enough. If I were you I 
should sew one hour to-morrow, and one on 
Saturday, so that you may have little or noth- 
ing for your last day, Monday." 

" Why wouldn't it do just as well to keep 
some for Monday ? " asked Lily, folding up her 

" Only that if you could finish it in the next 
two days it would be better," answered Miss 
Annie, " because something might happen to 
prevent you from doing so at the last moment." 

" Don't have any more putting-off fits, 
Lily," said Maggie. " Don't you find ' distance 
lends enchantment to the view ' of Pro ? What 
are you laughing at, Aunt Annie ? There is 
such a proverb, for I read it this very morning, 
only I didn't think I should have a good chance 
to use it so soon. I'll show it to you, so you 
need not think I made it up." 

" Yes, I know," said Annie;, catching the 
rosy, eager face between her two hands, and 

148 Lily Norris* Enemy, 

lovingly kissing either dimpled cheek. " It is 
an old, old proverb, and one very well known, 
dear Maggie ; and let us hope that Procrasti- 
nation may indeed look so much better at a 
distance than near at hand that Lily may 
keep it there, and not let it come near her." 

" Aunt Annie," said Bessie, " you must 
be a very laughable person, for so often 
you laugh at things that we don't think 
funny at all." 

" That is true," answered Aunt Annie, 
whose eyes were brimming with mischief, 
while she laughed more merrily than ever. 

" Well," said Lily, " I did not quite under 
stand what Maggie meant 'till Miss Annie 
said that, but I do know now ; and, indeed, 1 
do think Pro is better far off than close by. 
I'm sure I am a great deal better anyway, 
and I shall never let him come near me 

Bessie stood looking gravely at her as she 

" I see you don't quite trust me, Bessie," 

A little Talk, 149 

said Lily, " but you'll see. If you only knew 
all that I know, you'd learn what good reason 
I have for believing I shall never procrastinate 
again ; but I'd rather not tell you what it is." 

For Lily did really shrink from letting her 
little playmates know of her sad behavior to 
her dear mother, although she could not refrain 
from alluding to it in this mysterious manner. 

" You know you're all coming to my house 
to spend the day with me on Saturday," she 
continued ; " and before you come, I shall have 
the petticoat all finished, and will show it to 

Lily kept faithfully to her resolution upon 
the next day, sewing industriously for a full 
hour, and then putting by her work with the 
consciousness that she had accomplished all 
that could be expected of her for that day. 
Perhaps she had been further encouraged to 
do so by hearing most of her young school- 
mates say that morning that their little gar 
ments were quite finished, and ready to be 
handed in to Miss Asliton on Tuesday. Even 

150 Lily Norris 1 Enemy. 

Mabel Walton, although she had been quite ill 
with a bad cold, had completed her bag ; and 
little Belle hoped and expected to put the last 
stitches in her's on that afternoon. 

" Is your apron done, Nellie ? " asked Lily 
of Nellie Ransom. 

" Not quite," answered Nellie, " and I shall 
not finish it before to-morrow, for my two little 
cousins are in town to-day, and I must give up 
this afternoon to them. I am glad that I took 
the apron instead of the petticoat, for I am sure 
I should not have had time to make the last." 

" You could have tried," said Grade. " I'm 
sure a petticoat is not so much to make. Mine 
was all done on Saturday evening, and I did 
not have any help or showing either. Mamma 
is away, and I wouldn't let my nurse help me, 
but did it every bit myself. But then every 
one says I'm uncommonly handy with my nee- 
dle ; " and Grade gave her head the toss which 
always excited the displeasure of her school- 

" Well," said Nellie, coloring and hesitating 

A little Talk. 151 

a little, "I felt pretty sure that I could not 
make the petticoat in time, and I thought it 
was better to take that which I knew I could 
do ; and now you see I should feel badly if I 
could not bring in my work when the rest do." 

" Yes, and you were very right," said Belle. 
" I told Aunt Margaret about you, and she said 
you were a wise, prudent little girl." 

" I wouldn't be such a slow poke as Nellie, 
would you?" whispered Grade to Lily, when 
Nellie had moved away a little. 

" I s'pose I'd be as I was made, and I s'pose 
you'd be as you were made," said Lily, loftily, 
for her " scorn," as she would have called it, 
was always excited by Grade's attempts to 
exalt herself above her companions and school- 
mates, and it rather delighted her to put Gra- 
de down. 

This was difficult, however. Grade's self- 
sufficiency was so great that only a very hard 
blow could overthrow it, even for a moment ; 
and Lily was too much afraid of being 
considered an anti-politer to speak her 

152 Lily JVorn's 1 Enemy* 

mind as plainly as she might otherwise have 

So Gracie was not at all rebuffed by the 
answer she received ; and, so far from taking 
it as the reproof Lily intended it to be, only 
replied, — 

" Yes, of course ; but I'm very glad I was 
made smarter than Nellie. Why, sometimes 
I can learn three lessons while she is learning 
one, she is so slow and stupid ! " 

" She is not stupid," retorted Lily, forgetting 
her determination to "be courteous " in her 
indignation ; and, indeed, Gracie often made it 
difficult for those about her to keep to this res- 
olution. " She is not stupid, and if she is a lit- 
tle bit slow about learning, she always knows 
her lessons perfectly, and never misses ; no, 
never. You know she's been head of the 
spelling class for most a year ; you know it, 
Gracie, and Miss Ashton says she is one of 
her very best scholars. And the whole world 
knows" — Lily was waxing energetic in her 
defence, and more earnest to be emphatic than 

A little Talk. 153 

strictly according to facts — " the whole world 
knows that she writes the best compositions 
in our class since Maggie Bradford left." 

"Pooh! I never thought Maggie's composi- 
tions were so very great," said Gracie. 

" That shows you're no judge, and have very 
little common sense," said Lily severely. " I'm 
sure no one could write better poetry than that 
poem she wrote for me, and you might be proud 
if you could make such lovely verses. But I 
don't want to quarrel with you, Gracie, so we'd 
better not talk any more about it, 'cause I do 
feel like saying something not courteous to you." 

Gracie in her turn would have liked to say 
something that was not very pleasant, but she 
felt that she could not well do so when Lily 
declared her intention of not quarrelling, and 
retired in such a graceful manner from the 
threatened dispute. Still she did feel that 
somehow Lily had had the best of it, and 
had rather taken her down, as she was apt to 
do when Gracie displayed her vanity and self- 

154 Lily JVorris* Enemy. 

Moreover, clever and bright though she 
might be at her lessons, Gracie was not very 
quick at words ; and she often felt that Lily 
had the advantage of her in their too frequent 
little disputes. And now while she was hesi- 
tating as to whether she should make a sharp 
answer, and what that answer should be, Miss 
Ashton came in and rang the bell ; so that the 
opportunity, or I should say temptation, for 
further contention was at an end. 

" I hope," said Miss Ashton, when the time- 
came for dismissing school, " I hope that not 
one of my little girls will fail me on Tuesday. 
I should be very much disappointed, and mor- 
tified too, if I did not receive each garment quite 
finished and ready for use. Some of you I 
know are already through with the work which 
you have undertaken ; and after what I have 
said, I believe and hope there is no one who 
will be willing to bring hers unfinished." 

Her eye rested on Lily as she spoke. 
Perhaps she was hardly conscious that it was 
so, but she almost involuntarily turned to her 

A little Talk. 155 

as the one who was most likely to fail ; and, 
however that might be, the little girl felt her- 
self called upon to answer, not only for 
herself, but for the whole class. 

" We'll be very sure to be ready, Miss 
Ashton," she said; " and I will too. I see you 
are afraid of me, but you need not be, for I 
b'lieve I'm quite cured now of putting off." 

Miss Ashton smiled, but it was rather a 
doubtful smile, for she feared that Lily was 
too confident of herself, and the strength of 
her own resolutions. 

So, as I have said, all this made Lily feel 
very industrious and prompt that clay ; and as 
soon as she was at liberty for the work, she 
set to her task at once, and accomplished it 
without delay. 

But notwithstanding this, the day did not 
pass by without a fall into the old bad habit, 
as you shall learn. 



ATURDAY came, a bright and beauti- 
ful day, as Lily rejoiced to see when 
she ran to the window and peeped 
out as soon as she was out of her little bed. 

For she was to have quite a party of 
children to spend the day with her, and she 
had been very anxious that the weather should 
be pleasant. 

Maggie and Bessie, Belle and Mabel, and 
Nellie and Carrie Ransom were all coming, 
and they expected to have a great frolic. All 
Lily's playmates were fond of visiting her, not 
only because they loved her, and her homo 

Saturday Mornings Work. 157 

was a pleasant one, but also because there was 
such a grand play-room in Mr. Norris' house. 

This was a great open attic hall or gallery 
The house was a large one, and this open 
space ran across the whole width of it, the 
attic rooms being at either end, and a stair 
case coming up at the side. But this was shut 
in by a door at the foot of the flight, so that it 
was quite secluded, and considered rather an 
advantage, afforded a kind of retiring 
room. There were large bins ranged on the 
opposite side from the stairs, which had once 
been used to hold coal and wood ; but they were 
empty now, and the top of the lids afforded 
capital seats for the spectators who witnessed 
certain performances which frequently took 
place in the open arena. Never was there 
such a famous garret, or one which had seen 
greater sport and fun. 

Here the children could make as much 
noise as they pleased without fear of disturb 
ing older people ; here there was plenty of 
space for playing " tag," " hunt the slipper," 

158 Lily Norrif Enemy, 

"chairs," or any other frolicsome game ; here 
they acted proverbs, charades, and so forth. 
These last were now their favorite amusements, 
and Mr. Norris' attic was considered the best 
place for their performance. 

For, added to these other advantages, there 
was also a room devoted to the storing of all 
manner of odds and ends which were not in 
general use, and were stored there to be out of 
the way ; and with certain of these articles 
the children were allowed to do as they pleased, 
and to make them serviceable in their games 
and plays. Among them were two or three 
old trunks full of old party dresses and 
ribbons ; and any little girl can imagine what 
delightful means these afforded for " dressing 
up." There were flags, too, of various sizes 
and conditions, old-fashioned curtain fixtures, 
and even a tent of striped red and white 
canvas. All these Lily and her playmates 
were allowed to convert to their own uses, so 
long as they destroyed nothing ; and many an 
hour did patient Nora, ever devoted to the 

Saturday Morning's Work, 159 

pleasure of her nursling, spend in putting 
them to rights after they had been thoroughly 
rummaged and scattered abroad. 

Chief among the treasures in the attic was 
an old rocking-horse which had belonged to 
Tom ; at least he had once been a rocking- 
horse, but he had now not only lost his 
rockers, but also his hind legs. Strange to 
say, however, this did not at all interfere with 
his usefulness ; perhaps it rather added to it, 
for when he was supposed to fill his original 
character, namely, that of a horse, he was 
accommodated with two imaginary limbs in 
the place of the missing members, and he 
never complained that they did not answer 
the purpose quite as well. 

The number of uses to which he was put, 
and the characters he was supposed to repre- 
sent, would be impossible to tell. Sometimes 
he was a prince, and sometimes a beggar or a 
robber ; sometimes a servant, and sometimes 
a lover or husband ; sometimes a little boy, at 
others a cross old man; again he was con- 

160 Lily JVorris 9 Enemy. 

verted into an elephant by having the end of a 
curved iron pipe thrust into his mouth, or into 
a camel by a pillow upon his back ; at times, 
a fierce wild beast, growling and raging ; at 
others, the meekest of sheep or cows, mild 
and gentle in all respects. At one time he 
spoke in a squeaking but plaintive voice ; at 
another in what was supposed to be a deep, 
roaring bass. 

I forgot to say that he had lost his tail as 
well as his legs ; and his beauty was farther 
increased by the fact that Maggie and Lily, find- 
ing his ears inconvenient for the proper fitting 
of crowns, caps, wreaths, and other decorations, 
had cropped them close to his head. He had 
also been shorn of his hair in various pla- 
ces, which gave him a mangy and distressed 
appearance ; so that, save in the eyes of his 
most intimate and attached friends, he was 
not a horse of very fine personal appearance. 

This gallant and accommodating steed 
rejoiced in the name of Sir Percy Hotspur ; 
but this was laid aside when convenience 

Saturday Mornings Work. 161 

demanded it, and he obligingly answered to 
the name of the moment. 

Dear to the hearts of Lily and her young 
friends was Sir Percy Hotspur; and he was 
always tenderly cared for after he was through 
with his performances, being left to repose in 
the intervals in a corner of the attic, with his 
head upon an old sofa pillow, and carefully 
covered with a disused carriage robe. 

What a long history of an old rocking-horse, 
you may say, and so it is ; but, you see, Sir 
Percy Hotspur played a very important part 
in Lily's life, and she was deeply attached to 
him, and as this is her story, whatever con- 
cerned her deserves our attention. 

With so many attractions, you may believe 
that an invitation to Lily's house was always 
considered desirable, and eagerly accepted. 

Never, I think, were four little girls who 
found more enjoyment in their small lives 
and in one another, than our Maggie and Bes- 
sie, Belle and Lily. They were so much 
together that whatever interested one inter- 

1 62 Lily Nor r is' Enemy* 

ested all the others, and any pleasure was in- 
creased if they could all share it together. 

But we must go to the history of this Sat- 

" Lily," said Mrs. Norris, as the family left 
the breakfast table, "it is nine o'clock now ; 
and if I were you, I would finish that little 
petticoat at once. I think you can do it in an 
hour, and then it will be off your mind and 
conscience ; and after you have practised for 
half an hour, you can enjoy yourself for the 
rest of the day as you please." 

" I don't believe the children will come be- 
fore twelve o'clock, do you, mamma ? '• asked 

" No, probably not." 

" Then I have three hours," said Lily. 
" That is lots of time, and I shall be sure to 
have it done, even if I don't begin right away." 

" Take care, Lily," said her mother, lifting 
a warning finger, and shaking her head with a 
smile which told the little girl what that warn- 
ing meant. 

Saturday Morning's Work. 163 

" Don't be afraid, mamma," she answered 
" I'll be sure to do it this morning ; and even ii 
I did not quite finish it, I have Monday too." 

Again Mrs. Norris shook her head, and thif 
time without the smile ; for she plainly sa^ 
that Lily was in one of her careless, putting 
off moods, and she feared the work wouh 

" I am going right away, mamma," said 
Lily, as she saw how grave her mother 
looked ; and away she danced, singing as she 

But as she ran through the hall, she met 
her brother Tom with his puppy, which he was 
going to take for a walk. Lily never saw the 
little dog without stopping to have a romp 
with him, and the playful little fellow was 
growing fond of her already, and was alwgys 
eager for the frolic with which she indulged 

He sprang upon her now, whining and crying 
with pleasure at seeing her, and Lily stopped, 
of course, to pet him, and then began racing 

164. Lily JVorrzs 9 Enemy. 

up and down through the hall ; while Tom 
good-naturedly waited, and stood by, laughing 
at the antics of the two frolicsome young 
things. Gay and careless as the puppy him- 
self, Lily had no more thought for the task 
awaiting her. 

I do not know that she should be very much 
blamed for this ; but few little girls who would 
not have done the same, and Lily knew that 
there was much more than time enough for the 
completion of the petticoat. But I want to show 
you how the moments, yes, and the hours too, 
slipped away ; how little bits of idling and pro- 
crastination stole away the time before she was 
aware, and in the end brought her into sad 

A quarter of an hour went by in Lily's frolic 
with the puppy, until at last Tom said he must 

" I would take you with me, Lil," he said, 
" only that I know mamma wishes you to do 
your work." 

" Yes," said Lily reluctantly ; and but for 

Saturday Mornings Work. 165 

very shame she would have begged to put off 
her work and accompany him. 

Tom and his dog were gone, and Lily saun- 
tered towards the sitting-room. 

" T don't feel a bit like sewing now," she 
said to herself. " I could have gone with 
Tom, and been back time enough to finish my 
petticoat. Every one is so particular about my 
putting-off, and they never want me to do any 
thing I want to. But I s'pose I'll have to fin- 
ish the old thing now." 

Lily, you see, was allowing temptation to 
creep in. She did not still its first whisper- 
ings, but suffered them to make her feel dis- 
contented and fretful. 

She had stopped at the foot of the staircase, 
and with both hands clasped about the newel- 
post, was swaying herself back and forth, when 
Nora spoke to her from the head of the stairs. 

" Miss Lily," she said, by way of a gentle 
reminder, " do you need any help with your 
work ? " 

" No, I b'lieve not," answered the little girl. 

1 66 Lily JVorris 9 Enemy. 

" If I do, I'll come to you. I was just thinking 
where I'd go to sew." 

" Will you come to the nursery ? It is all 
put in order," asked Nora, anxious to cany 
her point, and seeing from Lily's manner, that 
her old enemy was busy with her. 

" I'll see presently," said Lily. " I'm just 
going to the little parlor to look for my petti- 
coat. I forget what I did with it yesterday 
when I had done sewing." 

And, leaving her hold of the banisters, she 
crossed the hall. But as she passed the open 
door of the drawing-room, the piano caught 
her eye, and turned her thoughts into another 

" I think I'll go and practise first," she said. 
" It's all the same thing, and I can do the pet- 
ticoat afterwards. I have just the same time." 

This was true enough,, but Lily was. not 
wise, for she liked to practise, and she did not 
like to sew ; and it would have been better for 
her to have done with the least pleasant duty 

Saturday Morning's Work, 167 

She placed herself at the piano, and, I must 
do her the justice to say, practised steadily for 
half an hour. 

" It is ten minutes of ten," she said, looking 
at the clock. "Oh, there's lots of time yet ; I 
can stay here a little longer. I'm going to 
practise this new piece some more." 

This new piece was one Miss Ashton had 
given her the day before, so that she had had 
but one lesson on it ; and it had all the charm 
of novelty to her, besides being, as she thought, 
the prettiest piece she had ever played. 

" I'll astonish Miss Ashton by letting her 
see how well I have learned it," she said to 
herself; and she remained at the piano, play- 
ing over and over again the lively little waltz, 
until her mother's voice at the door recalled 
her to her neglected duty. 

" Lily," it said, " you have been practising 
more than half an hour, dear." 

" Yes, mamma," said Lily, glancing over at 
the clock again ; " more than three quarters ; 
but my new music is so very pretty, and I want 

1 68 Lily Norris' 1 Enemy, 

Miss Ashton to be quite surprised with my 
knowing it so well." 

" I am afraid Miss Ashton may have a less 
agreeable surprise if you do not take care, my 
darling," said Mrs. Norris gravely. 

" Oh, you mean about the petticoat, mamma ; 
but there's lots and lots of time. I b'lieve Pro 
has had hold of me this morning," said Lily, 
jumping down from the piano stool, " and 111 
come right away ; but you see I was so very 
sure about having time enough to-day, mamma, 
that it did not make so much difference. 
There's a good deal of time yet to-day, and I 
have Monday too." 

" Put away your music, Lily," said her 
mother ; and she stood waiting while Lily laid 
in its place the music she would have left scat- 
tered over the piano. Perhaps Mrs. Norris 
thought it just as well not to lose sight again 
of her heedless little daughter until she had 
her settled at her work. 

" Bring your work-box to my room," said 
Mrs. Norris. " I have something to do there, 
and we will have a nice, cosey time." 

Saturday Morning's Work, 169 

Lily ran for the box, and was back with it 
in a moment, for as she went she said to her- 
self, — 

" I b'lieve I've let Pro steal a good many 
little thefts already this morning ; now I'll 
just send him off right away. I have plenty 
of time yet, but now I really must make 

Lily's work-box was of rather formidable 
dimensions ; indeed, some people thought it 
but one stage removed from a small trunk. 
It had been presented to her by an old lady 
with whom she was a great pet, and although 
it was extremely inconvenient in regard to size 
and weight, it was very handsomely fitted up 
with mother-of-pearl and silver, and contained 
every implement which could be needed by the 
most accomplished needle-woman. Upon the 
lid was a silver plate, with " For an industri- 
ous little girl" engraved upon it. 

Now as we know, our Lily was by no means 
an industrious little girl ; nevertheless she 
took great pride and delight in this " ark," as 

170 Lily JVorrzs* Enemy, 

Tom privately called it ; and, although she had 
two or three other work-boxes and baskets 
much more suitable and convenient in point 
of size, she made use of this one whenever she 
could do so. 

" It held so much," she said, and indeed it 
did ; and here the petticoat had reposed in the 
intervals when she was not busy with it ; that 
is, when Lily had put it away in a proper 

She followed her mother with this ponderous 
treasure clasped in both arms ; and, when she 
reached mamma's room, brought her little 
chair, and opened the box. 

" Why," she said, when she had removed 
the upper tray which held all the dainty imple- 
ments, and looked into the empty space beneath, 
" why, where is my petticoat ? Somebody has 
gone and taken it out. Mamma, did you take 
it ? " 

" No, dear, I have not touched it," said Mrs. 
Norris. " Did you put it away yesterday ? " 

" Yes, mamma, you know I always put it in 

Saturday Morning's Work. 171 

here. I'll ask Nora ; " and away ran Lily to 
the nursery. 

" Nora, did yon take my orphan petticoat 
out of my work-box ? " she asked. 

" No, indeed, dear ; and why would I touch 
it, unless you wanted some help with it?" 
answered Nora. 

Back went Lily to her mamma's room, 
troubled and indignant. 

" Mamma, some one has taken it. I never 
knew any thing so mean. Nora don't know 
any thing about it." 

" Who would take it, Lily ? I certainly did 
not, and you say Nora did not. Papa or Tom 
could have no reason for touching it. I will 
tell you what I think." 

" What mamma ? " asked Lily, anxiously. 

" That you could not have put it away yes- 
terday when you stopped sewing upon it. 
Think a moment, my daughter ; can you dis- 
tinctly recollect putting it away in your box ? " 

Lily stood considering one moment ; then dis- 
may and shame gradually overspread her face. 

172 Lily Norris > Enemy. 

" No, mamma, I just believe I did not. 
When I was going to put away my petticoat 
in the box, I heard papa come in, and I wanted 
to know why he had come home so early ; so I 
thought I would just wait one moment, and put 
it away when I had asked him, and I dropped 
it on the floor and ran to papa. And you know 
he had come to take us to see those pictures, 
and I never thought another thing about the 
petticoat. I quite forgot I had not put it away 
when I told you I had. I will go and look in 
the sitting-room where I was sewing y ester- 

But her search proved fruitless, although 
she certainly did look thoroughly through 
every part of the room. Nora was called, and 
took her part, but all in vain ; and at last 
mamma came. Mrs. Norris rather felt that 
she should let Lily be at all the trouble of find- 
ing the petticoat for herself; but the child 
seemed so grieved that she could not bear to 
punish her in that way. But mamma was not 
more successful than her little daughter and 

Saturday Morning's Work. 173 

tlio. nurse had been, although in the end every 
sen ant was questioned, and every room 

" It is very strange. Are you quite sure you 
have not seen it, Hannah ?" asked Mrs. Norris 
of her chambermaid, a rather dull girl, who 
had been but a short time in the house. " Have 
you seen nothing of the kind lying about in the 
sitting-room, or did you not touch Miss Lily's 
box ? " 

" Miss Lily's harnsum box, is it, ma'am ? 
8ure, and I did see that a sittin' on the floor, 
where I thought you'd not be plased to see it 
at all at all, so I just lifted it to the table where 
I seen it sittin' before ; but ne'er a thing I seen 
beside it. It wouldn't be Miss Lily's work what 
I found the puppy a pullin' round the ary, 
ma'am, — the mischavous baste that he is, my 
heart's most broke with him, — an' I didn't 
take heed what it was, but seem' it that dirty, 
I just put it in the basket with the siled 

Away went Lily, Nora after her ; and, sure 

174 Lily Norris' Enemy. 

enough, the latter soon fished out the unfortu- 
nate little petticoat from the soiled-clothes 
basket. Now, indeed, Lily was distressed, and 
cried bitterly, for the thing was in no state to 
be touched until it had been washed. It was 
easy to imagine how it had happened. The 
puppy, who was growing very mischievous, and 
who, like many another young thing, was fond 
of a forbidden plaything, had probably found 
the petticoat lying where Lily had heedlessly 
dropped it upon the floor ; and, watching his 
opportunity, had dragged it from the room, 
down stairs, and out into the back area, where 
Hannah had rescued it, happily before it was 
torn and chewed to bits, but not before it was 
sadly blackened and soiled. 

" Now don't you cry, honey Miss Lily, and 
I'll just wash it right out for you, and have it 
back as clane as a new pin," said the good- 
natured Hannah. " If I'd known it yesterday, 
sure I'd a done it then ; but niver a wurd did I 
think of its bein' your work, and it in that 
state. Oeh, what a crathur it is, that botherin' 

Lily Norris. 

p. 174. 

Saturday Morning's Work. 175 

little baste ! " she added, as she went off with 
the melancholy looking petticoat in her hand. 

" Will she have it washed and dried and 
ironed in time for me to finish it before the 
children come, mamma ? " asked the sobbing 
Lily, burying her head in her mother's lap. 

" I am afraid not, dear," answered her 
mother, with a tender, pitying touch upon the 
thoughtless little head which brought so much 
trouble upon itself, " so much time has been 
lost in hunting for your work, and it is now 
nearly eleven o'clock." 

" If I'd only gone to my sewing at first as 
you advised me, then I'd have found out sooner 
what that horrid little old hateful puppy had 
done, and Hannah might have washed the pet- 
ticoat for me in time," moaned Lily. " I wish 
Tom never had the puppy'." 

" I do not think we must blame the puppy, 
my darling," said her mamma. " He only 
acted according to his nature; and he found 
the skirt, you know, where it should not have 

176 Lily JVorris 1 Enemy, 

"Yes," said Lily, "poor little cunning fel- 
low ; it wasn't his fault. It was all horrid old 
me, with my putting off that I never shall cure 
myself of ; no, never, never. It is too mean 
that I cannot finish that tiresome petticoat this 

" Happily, dear, the consequences of your 
fault are not yet without remedy, and you may 
still make up for lost time, unless something 
should happen which we do not foresee ; but 
you have only this one more chance, Lily. Take 
care that you do not neglect it, or be tempted 
to procrastinate again." 



RS. NORRIS was right ; for although 
Hannah did her best, she found it 
impossible to have the petticoat dry 
enough to iron so that Lily might have some 
time to sew upon it before her young friends 

As soon as she had at all recovered her spir- 
its, the little girl relieved her mind in some 
degree by making frequent rushes to the head 
of the back stairs to see if Hannah were com- 
ing with the petticoat ; and once she persuaded 
her mother to let her go to the laundry that she 
might " be encouraged by seeing how much 
Hannah had done." 


ij8 Lily JVbrrzs 9 Enemy, 

But she did not receive much encourage- 
ment from the sight of the still dripping gar- 
ment, which Hannah had hung before the fire 
that it might dry the more quickly. Hannah 
took a cheerful view of the subject, saying she 
would have it ready very soon, and there was 
" lots of time afore Tuesday mornin'." But 
Lily was at last learning the folly of believing 
in " lots of time " to come ; and she shook her 
head in a melancholy manner, and bade Han- 
nah " take a lesson of her misfortunes, and 
never procrastinate." 

She returned to the nursery in a very low 
state of mind, when Nora told her she would 
dress her at once if she chose, so that if she 
had any time to spare she might employ it on 
the skirt when it was dry. 

Lily gratefully accepted the offer, but it 
proved of no use as far as the petticoat was 
concerned, for she had bade her little friends 
to " be sure and come by twelve o'clock," and 
her mamma having seconded the invitation, 
they had been allowed to do so ; and soon after 

Saturday Afternoon's Play. 179 

twelve, Maggie, Bessie, Belle, and Mabel ar- 
rived, just as Hannah brought up the petticoat, 
fairly smoking from her hot irons, and five 
minutes after, the rest of the young party made 
their appearance. 

The clouds passed from Lily's face and mind 
at the sight of all these "sunbeams," and, 
consoling herself with the recollection that 
after all she still had Monday afternoon, she 
was presently as merry and full of spirits as 

Happily not one of the other children 
thought of asking her if the petticoat were 
finished, so that she was spared the mortifica- 
tion of confessing that it was not. 

It was proposed that they should all amuse 
themselves downstairs until the early dinner, 
which had been ordered for them at one 
o'clock ; after which they would go to the 
grand play-room in the attic, Maggie having 
provided herself with some fresh proverbs and 
charades, which they were to play. 

" Harry and Fred are coming over this 

180 Lily Nor r if Enemy, 

afternoon, and wo want to make a ship in the 
lumber-room. You won't mind, will you ? " 
asked Torn, who was taking his lunch at the 
little girls' dinner. 

Doubtful looks were exchanged between 
some of them. Maggie's looks were not at all 
doubtful ; her face was one of blank dismay at 
the proposal. Playing charades and proverbs 
was all very well when there were only those 
of her own age to look on ; doing it before 
these big boys was quite another thing. 

" Not if you don't like it, Maggie," said 
Tom, noticing her annoyance ; " but we 
wouldn't disturb you, and anyhow I am sure 
you need not mind having us see you. We'll 
be busy at the carpenter's bench and tool- 
chest, and you need not heed us if we do 

" I'm — I'm afraid you'll — you'll laugh at 
us," hesitated Maggie, coloring. 

" If we laugh, it will be with you, not at 
you," said Tom. " But never mind ; if you 
don't like it, we'll keep out of your way." 

Saturday Afternoons Play. 181 

Then Maggie felt self-reproached, and, like 
the generous little girl she was, determined 
that her bashfulness should not get the upper 
hand of her readiness to oblige. 

" I don't mind it so very much," she said ; 
" at least I'll try not to, and you can come if 
the others say so. I suppose you won't take 
notice of us if you are building a ship, would 
you, Tom ? " she added wistfully. 

" No one shall disturb or trouble you in 
any way, you may believe that," said Tom ; 
and Maggie knew that he would keep his word, 
and so declared her willingness that the 
boys should share the privileges of the lumber- 

Away to the attic scampered the seven pairs 
of little feet the moment dinner was over ; and 
Nora, following, opened the trunks for them, 
then left them to their own devices. That is 
to say, she brought her sewing, and went to 
sit in one of the rooms which opened out of the 
great gallery, where she might be within call 
if the children needed her, and at hand to 

1 82 Lily JVorris* Enemy, 

keep them from mischief. That she provided 
for her own amusement by leaving the door so 
that she could see and hear, none of them, 
not even shy Maggie, noticed or cared. 

Maggie of course was always chief spirit 
and prime manager of these entertainments ; 
and she now divided the party, taking Belle 
and Nellie with herself as performers in the 
first charade, and assigning the part of specta- 
tors to Bessie, Lily, Carrie, and Mabel. 

The audience speedily accommodated them- 
selves and their children — that is their dolls 
— with seats upon the top of the bins, scram- 
bling thereto by the help of chairs, and amus- 
ing themselves with lively conversation while 

Maggie and Nellie brought forth from the 
store-room a small table and three chairs, 
which were suitably placed ; Sir Percy was 
brought from his place of repose and laid upon 
the floor beside them ; after which the young 
ladies retired again into privacy. 

" The charade has begun, and Sir Percy is a 

Saturday Afternoons Play. 183 

great big dog this time," said Maggie, suddenly 
popping out her head once more, and then 
withdrawing it. 

After some moments she reappeared, this 
time gorgeously arrayed in a flowing train, 
formed of an old red table-cloth, bordered 
with gold, a wreath of artificial flowers on her 
head, ribbons of all colors pinned and tied 
about her, and an enormous fan in her hand, 
with which she fanned herself affectedly, 
mincing and prinking as she walked to a chair, 
where she seated herself, taking good care to 
keep her face turned from Sir Percy, whom 
she pretended not to observe. The audience 
were spell-bound with interest and the wish 
to guess the word. 

" Tell your mistress — er — that er — Madam 
Jones — er — is here — er," drawled the lady, 
addressing an imaginary servant, closing her 
eyes as if quite exhausted, and putting on all 
the airs and graces conceivable. 

Presently entered the hostess, attired with 
similar magnificence, but with rather a bluff 

184 Lily JVorris' Enemy. 

and off-hand manner, which contrasted very 
strikingly with that of her visitor. Mean- 
while, from behind the door of the store- 
room came a piteous mewing, which soon 
attracted the attention of the second lady, who 
peered about her in great surprise, and ex- 
claimed, — 

" That must be a cat mewing, and I never 
allow a cat in my house, never ! " 

" Oh — er," drawled Mrs. Jones, " it is only 
my sweet pussy, my lovely pet, my only donly 
pet; such a dear pet, oh, such ! Wouldn't you 
like to see her, Mrs. Smith ? " 

" No, oh, no ! " cries Mrs. Smith, lifting up 
her hands in horror ; " I hate cats, and so does 
my lovely pet, Bombastes Furioso. Here, 
Bomby, Bomby, Bomby, come and speak to 
Mrs. Jones, my darling pet." 

Upon which Mrs. Jones affected to see for 
the first time the great dog Bombastes Furioso, 
and to be filled with alarm at the sight. 

" Don't call him, pr-r-r-ay, don't ! " she cried. 
" Is it possible that you like canine dogs, Mrs. 

Saturday Afternoon's Play. 185 

Smith ? How can you have such a pet ? Here, 
kitty, kitty, kitty ! " 

Hereupon entered Belle on all fours, cov- 
ered with a white flossy mat which had been 
brought up from the hall for the purpose, and 
ran mewing about her mistress. 

" I'd rather like canine dogs than canine 
cats," wrathf ully cries Mrs. Smith ; " and, 
ma'am, I tell you I won't have cats in my 
house ! S'cat, s'cat, s'cat ! " 

" Ma'am," cries Mrs. Jones, indignantly, 
" if you turn out my pet, you turn out me, and 
I'll never visit you again, ma'am, nor be ac- 
quainted with you any more. I cut you, ma'am, 
I cut you ! " 

" And I cut you, ma'am. Bringing cats in 
my house, indeed ! Here, Bombastes Furioso, 
s-s-s-s ! " and the indignant and inhospitable 
Mrs. Smith tried to urge her dog to seize Mrs. 
Jones' kitty. Bombastes, however, being a 
dog of a lazy turn of mind, contented himself 
with deep, hoarse growls whenever Mrs. Jones 
was speaking. He was silent when it was 

1 86 Lily Norris* Enemy, 

necessary for his mistress to speak ; and Mrs. 
Smith found herself obliged to drag her lum- 
bering pet onwards by his two* remaining hoofs 
— I beg his pardon, I should have said paws. 

This was the sole objection to the accommo- 
dating Sir Percy, that he was so unwieldy and 
cumbersome to move when circumstances re- 
quired that he should do so. This being the 
case, Mrs. Jones, whose airs and graces were ail 
put to flight by this attack upon her, had time 
to scuttle off with her pet before Bombastes 
Furioso had advanced more than a step or two. 

This was greeted with shouts of laughter, in 
which the performers themselves joined as they 
disappeared ; and after the applause had sub- 
sided, the four heads on the top of the bins set 
themselves to guess the word. 

" I think it's affected lady," said Carrie. 

" I don't. I think it is cat or dog," said 
Lily. " You know this is only the first sylla- 
ble, Carrie, so it couldn't be affected lady." 

"Oh, to be sure," said Carrie. " Bessie, 
what do you think it is ? " 

Saturday Afternoon 's Play. 187 

" I think it is pet," said Bessie. " Did you 
not hear how often they said ' pet ' ? ' Pet ' 
dog and ' pet' cat? " 

" Yes, so they did," said Lily. " Bessie, 
you are right. Oh, isn't it fun ? " 

The performers were not long in making 
their preparations for the next syllable; and 
the only change in the outward arrangements 
was that various bottles, a saw, some chisels, 
awls, and other tools were brought out, and 
placed upon the table. 

" These are doctors' instruments," Maggie 
explained before retiring. 

Presently she reappeared, buttoned up in an 
overcoat which reached to her feet, a man's 
hat coming down over her eyes, a cane in her 
hand, and bustled round among the bottles. 
From this occupation the doctor was roused 
by a knock at the door, and there entered two 
other overcoated figures, limping and groaning 
in a distressful manner. 

" We've been in a railroad accident, and all 
our bones are broken, doctor," piped one of 
the sufferers. 

r88 Lily JSForris' Enemy. 

The unfeeling surgeon hustled them each 
into a chair, and with great roughness pro 
ceeded to wrap and bandage, tying a great 
many knots with much unnecessary vigor, ac- 
companied with shrieks and groans from his 

" Ow — ow — ow, doctor," cried one of them, 
as the doctor pulled hard upon a knot in the 
handkerchief he was tying on a broken arm, 
"you do hurt more than any doctor I ever 
knew. You tie so hard." 

" Well," growled the doctor, " when you 
come to me with two broken arms, and two 
broken legs, and a broken back, and your eyes 
put out, and your head smashed up, do you 
expect to be mended without being hurt? 
Here, let me tie your head." 

The patients, being well tied up, at last de- 
parted, followed by the doctor ; and the audi- 
ence unanimously agreed that tie was 'he 
second syllable. 

"Pet — tie," said Bessie. "I just b'lieve 
it's petticoat." 

Saturday Afternoon's Play. 189 

" So it is," said Carrie ; while Lily, recalled 
to the recollection of her unfortunate petticoat, 
was struck dumb by what she considered a 
remarkable coincidence. 

The performance of the third syllable was 
not quite as interesting as the other two had 
been, the coats which had been worn by the 
doctor and his patients being brought out and 
beaten with sticks with a great bustle and 
fuss, but without a single spoken word. After 
this it scarcely needed the performance of 
the whole word to establish the fact that it 
was petticoat ; but, the chairs and table being 
removed, it was gone through with by three 
young ladies, very much dressed, taking a 
walk on a muddy day, and greatly disturbed for 
the fate of their petticoats, as they splashed and 
waded through imaginary pools and puddles. 

" Petticoat ! Petticoat ! Petticoat ! " re- 
sounded from the top of the bins, accompanied 
by violent clapping and stamping, and other 
tokens of the pleasure which had been afforded 
by the representation. 

190 Lily JVorris' Enemy, 

And now the audience came down from their 
perch, and resigned it to the late performers, 
with whom they were to change parts; at least, 
Belle and Nellie were to do so, for Maggie 
was, as I have said, the moving spirit, and all 
the others played under her orders. She was 
the most ingenious in choosing and arrang- 
ing the words, and it was believed that no 
charade went off well unless she took part in it. 

This arrangement only left two spectators, 
it is true ; but Maggie said she needed all the 
others, and no objection was made. 

The chairs and table were now brought back 
to their old places. After the necessary dress- 
ing up had been done, Bessie appeared with a 
handkerchief tied over her sunny curls, a white 
apron coming down to her feet, and followed 
by Carrie as a servant, bearing dishes. These 
— a doll's dinner set — were arranged upon 
the table with much noise and rattle, the little 
landlady bustling about, and calling upon her 
maid to make haste. 

" For I keep a very good inn, servant," she 

Saturday Afternoon's Play, 191 

said ; " but when some people come to inns, 
they make a great fuss, and give a great deal 
of trouble ; and I heard of a gentleman who is 
coming to my », and he is very cross, and a 
great scolder, so I don't want to give him any 
reason to complain, and we must have every 
thing very nice in my inn" 

" Yes, ma'am, we'll have the inn very tine 
for him," answered the maid. 

The fears of the landlady were not un- 
founded, as it proved ; for presently appeared 
Sir Percy in the character of a cross old gen- 
tleman, supported and dragged along with 
much difficulty by his wife and daughters. 
He was attired in a man's hat and great-coat, 
the sleeves of the latter coming down some 
distance below his — h'm — hands; but this 
was a convenience, as they could be flapped 
about in wild gesticulation, as he stormed and 
scolded at the ^conveniences of the inn. A 
more ill-tempered old gentleman was never 
seen ; and a hard time did his attendants have 
of it. He laid about him in the most ferocious 

192 Lily JVorris' Enemy. 

manner, and was not to be pacified by all the 
attentions that were lavished upon him ; until 
the little landlady declared that " if that old 
gentleman was going to stay a great while in 
her inn, she would not keep an inn any 

" Inn, inn," was called, not only from the 
bins, but also from the other side of the room, 
as the old man was at last carried away, still 
growling, and wildly slapping the air with his 

The children turned, and Sir Percy tumbled 
heavily to the floor, as Maggie loosened her 
hold of him, struck dumb by the sight of three 
pairs of eyes peering above the side of the 

" Now, that's too bad," cried Lily. " You 
boys can just go 'way. You'll laugh at us." 

" Indeed, we won't," said Tom. " We came 
up just a few moments ago, and we thought 
we wouldn't interrupt you by passing through, 
but wait until you had finished, and that was 
capitally done. But I'm afraid you'll hurt 

Saturday Afternoon 's Play. 193 

yourselves with Sir Percy. He is too heavy 
for you to lug about, and Maggie's toes barely 
escaped just now." 

"0 Tom!" said Lily; " why, half the fun 
would be spoiled if we didn't have Sir Percy." 

" Well, be careful then," said Tom, as he 
passed on with Harry into the store-room. 

But Fred lingered. 

" I say, Midge," he said, " let a fellow stay 
and see the rest of your charade, will you ? It's 


Maggie looked blank, but all she said was, 
44 Fred!" 

" No, you can't," said Lily, unmindful of the 
duties of hospitality in her own attic; " you 
just can't, 'cause you'll laugh, and make fun 
of us." 

" Now come on, Fred, and let them alone," 
called Tom from within the room. " I prom- 
ised them they should not be teased if we came 
up here." 

" I'm not going to tease them," said Fred. 
" I want to see the charade, really and truly. 


194 Lily JVorriV Enemy, 

The little chaps do it first-rate, and I like it. 
Let me stay, girls." 

Maggie and Bessie, especially the latter, had 
strong objections to being called " chaps,-" but 
Fred never could remember that. However, 
they passed it by ; and Fred won a rather 
reluctant consent to his remaining as a spec- 
tator. He was put upon his good behavior, 
and with a run and a jump speedily landed 
himself beside Belle and Carrie, where he 
kept his word, and conducted himself as a 
well-behaved spectator should do. 

The next syllable presented a lady writing, 
her maid sewing. In rushes a gardener, tree 
in hand, represented by a large feather dust- 
brush ; and with much Irish brogue and great 
excitement, accuses the lady's son of cutting 
down a young peach-tree. Son denies, and is 
believed by his mother, who sternly tells the 
gardener that her son has never told a lie, and 
whatever he says is " true, true, true" 

Gardener declares that " indade, an' he is 
thrue, an' if the missis will but make Mastei 

Saturday Afternoon's Play. 195 

George Washington hould up the hand that's 
behint him, she'll see the hatchet he did it 

Mother demands the hatchet, son rebels, 
still keeping his hand behind him, but mother, 
chasing round and round, presently discovers 
it ; whereupon she clasps her hands frantically, 
cries she thought he was true, falls fainting to 
the ground, and is carried off by son, gardener, 
and maid. 

This new version of an old and familiar 
story was received with tremendous applause, 
to which Fred's boots added not a little. 

Next appeared Sir Percy once more, this 
time without any outward adornments. He 
was laid upon the floor, and in his mouth was 
thrust a pointed stick, bearing a paper, on 
which was written in Maggie's largest, round- 
est hand, these words : — 

" This is a disagreeable smelling dead cat." 

About and around the dead cat walked five 
young ladies, uttering exclamations of disgust, 
wondering where the smell could come from, 

196 Lily JVorris* Enemy. 

but strangely blind to the offensive animal 
which lay before them. 

" Ow ! how horrid ! " cried one. 

" Ugh ! disgusting ! " exclaimed another. 

" What an* awful smell 1 " said the third. 

" Ugh ! it's that dead cat ! " said the fourth. 
" Let's shun it, let's shun it ! " 

And with loud cries of " Shun it, shun 
it," the five young ladies scamper into the 
store-room, from which the sound of smothered 
laughter had now and then mingled with the 
public applause without. 

It was not difficult now to guess the word ; 
nevertheless the whole charade must be played 
out before it was even hinted at to the per- 

" In-tru-sion," was carried out by two of the 
aforesaid young ladies, who rang violently at 
a front-door bell, and were denied admittance 
by a dainty, little sunny-haired maid, who 
declared that her mistress was very much 

The visitors persisted in their desire to see 

Saturday Afternoon's Play. 197 

her, and forced their way in, to be fiercely 
attacked by the indignant lady of the mansion, 
who was engaged with her lover, Sir Percy, 
and who sternly demanded, " Whence this 

" No intrusion at all, ma'am," says one of 
the visitors. 

" Yes, intrusion, ma'am," replies the host- 
ess ; and contradiction followed free and 
fast, until stopped by the shouts of " Intru- 
sion ! Intrusion ! " from the reserved seats. 



y i 

HAT'S capital ! '? exclamed Fred. 
" Give us another, Midge, will 

Fred had conducted himself with such be- 
coming propriety, and his applause had been 
so hearty, that Maggie felt not only quite 
reconciled to his presence, but also ready to 
indulge him; and she answered, — 

" Yes, I have one more, and it is to be in- 
structive as well as amusing, Fred, because it 
is an historical charade." 

" Go ahead ! " said Fred, scrambling back 
into his seat, which he had left to help carry 
Sir Percv into retirement. 

A Sad Accident. 199 

The preparations for the first syllable of the 
Listorical charade were very imposing. Two 
chairs were placed face to face ; upon these 
was mounted the table, turned upside down, 
with its legs in the air ; to one of the legs was 
tied a large feather dust-brush, — the whole 
arrangement supposed to represent an oak- 
tree, as Maggie explained. 

Maggie, Nellie, Lily, and Belle were the per- 
formers 011 this occasion ; and in due time 
they all entered, escorting Sir Percy, now in 
the character of King Charles, in full kingly 
costume, the red table-cloth doing duty for his 
robes, and a crown, a " real crown " of tinsel 
paper adorning his majesty's brows. He was 
held with some difficulty upon his horse, — 
another chair turned down for the purpose, — 
and again Tom's warning voice came from the 

" You'd better look out with that old hobby. 
You'll hurt yourselves some time, lugging him 
about that fashion." 

But the suggestion was treated with disdain. 

200 Lily JVorrzY Eneniy. 

An old hobby indeed ! King Charles an " old 
hobby " ! 

The horse — that is, the chair horse — 
paused beneath the tree, and then, relieved of 
his burden, galloped off, led by Belle ; while the 
other three prepared to hoist his cumbersome 
majesty into the tree, he not being agile 
enough to perform that office for himself. 

Maggie had proposed that two of the chil- 
dren should be his enemies in pursuit ; but no 
one was willing to take that character. 
Staunch little royalists they were, every one, 
and not to be reckoned among the persecutors of 
the unfortunate king. So this little diversion 
from the true historical facts had been per- 
mitted to suit the occasion, all the more readily 
as it was feared that it would take the united 
strength of the whole four to raise him to the 
necessary height. Still Maggie had not been 
quite satisfied with such a very great departure 
from reality ; and, hearing the difficulty as they 
worked at the carpenter's bench, Tom and 
Harry had good-naturedly offered to take upon 

A Sad Accident. 201 

themselves the obnoxious part of the king's 
enemies, and as soon as he was safely hidden 
in the tree to rush forth in search of him, and 
feign total unconsciousness as they passed be- 
neath his place of shelter. 

This being settled, and Belle, having dis- 
posed of her horse, and returned to give a 
hand to the lifting process, the royal fugitive 
was, by the united exertions of his four de- 
voted adherents, raised to his hiding-place. 
But he proved too heavy for the slight con- 
struction ; and feather duster, chair, and 
table toppled over together, carrying King 
Charles with them. 

Maggie and Lily held fast, one on eithei 
side, but the other two had left their hold. 
Fred, seeing the danger, sprang like a shot 
from his seat, and his hand but just touched 
the old hobby-horse as it rolled over, not soon 
enough to prevent its fall, but in time to turn 
the heavy thing a little aside. It fell, carry- 
ing Lily back with it ; and the two came 
together to the floor, jarring the whole house* 

202 Lily J\ orris 9 Enemy, 

Tom and Harry rushed out, not, alas ! in the 
play in which they had offered to join, but in 
sad and alarmed earnest ; and Nora flew from 
her work. 

Tom had Lily in his arms in an instant, but 
the poor little girl was a sorry sight. Sir 
Percy's head had struck against hers as they 
fell together, aiid blood was already streaming 
from an ugly wound just above her temple. 
But for Fred's timely touch, which turned the 
weight of the hobby-horse a little to one side, 
the child's head must have been crushed, and 
she killed. 

Oh, was not Maggie thankful that she had 
allowed her good-nature to triumph over her 
fear of being laughed at, and had consented 
to let Fred join in their fun ! 

Ah ! the fun and frolic were changed now, — 
changed to distress and alarm. Lily lay half 
stunned, gasping and death-like, while the cries 
and shrieks of the other children rang through 
the house, and speedily brought her mother to 
the spot. 

A Sad Accident. 203 

It was indeed a sad ending to the merry after- 
noon, and for a few moments the children could 
scarcely believe that Lily was not killed, or at 
least dying, so white and quiet did she lie. 
Never did piteous cry carry more relief to a 
mother's heart than that which at last broke 
from the pale, trembling lips ; for Mrs. Norris 
too had feared that her darling was danger- 
ously, if not fatally injured. It must have 
been so indeed but for the care of the kind 
Father who had watched over her, and sent 
Fred's timely help to turn aside a portion of 
the threatening danger. 

" Go for the doctor," said Mrs. Norris. 

But Fred, with a though tfulness which he 
sometimes showed, had already asked Tom if 
he should not do this, and had started off 
with his direction. 

The grass never grew beneath Fred's 
nimble feet at any time ; and now, when he 
believed there was need for speed, he almost flew 
over the ground, and, happily finding the doctor 
at home, brought him back with him at once. 

204 Lily JVbrrzV Enemy. 

Lily had been carried downstairs and laid 
upon her little bed, where her mother was 
doing for her all that she could, though that 
was not much, until the doctor came. 

A group of frightened and distressed little 
faces met the good old physician's eye as he 
passed through the hall. He spoke a few 
cheering words as he went by, but as he did 
not yet know how much Lily was hurt, he did 
not put much heart into his young hearers. 
Still it was a comfort tp know that he had 
come, and it always did one good to see Dr. 
Banks' kind, helpful face. 

Before the doctor arrived, Lily had opened 
her eyes, and smiled at her mother with a 
bewildered look ; but when she saw the blood 
which was streaming from the wound in her 
head, she was frightened, and began to cry 

But the dear old doctor soon quieted her 
fears, and those of her anxious mother ; and 
the good news presently spread through the 
house that he did not think her dangerously 

A Sad Accident. 205 

hurt. There was a deep, ugly cut on her head 
just above the temple, it was true, and her 
eye was already swelling and blackening ; but 
he had no fears that her injuries were serious, 
and with some care and quiet she would soon 
be well again. 

Bat Lily had had a very merciful escape, 
and Maggie could not be sufficiently glad and 
thankful that she had been kind and obliging, 
and allowed Fred " to come to the charades, " 
when she heard every one saying that but for 
the thrust from his hand which had turned 
aside the weight of the old hobby-horse, the 
heavy thing must have crushed the dear little 
head of her young playmate. 

" It was quite a mountain of mercy out of a 
mole-hill of kindness," quaintly said clear Mag- 
gie, as she wiped from her eyes the tears of 
joy and gratitude. 

Hearing that Lily must be kept quiet, the 
thoughtful Harry carried away his sisters, and 
all the other little visitors, as soon as they were 
assured that there was no cause for alarm. 

206 Lily JVorris 9 Enemy. 

and saw them all safely to their separate 

Lily lay patient and gentle under the doctor's 
handling, as he felt the poor little bruised head, 
and tenderly cut away the hair from the wound, 
and bound it up ; but every now and then she 
put up her hand, with a piteous, anxious expres- 
sion, to the eye which was swelling and closing 
so fast. 

" Does it pain you so, darling ? " her mother 
would ask. 

" Not so very much, mamma," she would 
answer, "but" — and here her words always 
came to an end. 

But when the doctor was through, and the 
aching head laid carefully on a soft pillow, the 
trouble'that was weighing on her mind broke 

" Doctor," she asked wistfully, " is my eye 
going out ? " 

"Going out? No, indeed," answered the 
doctor, cheerily. " I rather think it is going 
in, my Lily-bud. It is shutting up pretty tight 

A Sad Accident. 207 

now, it is true ; but we'll take the swelling 
down in a day or two, and it will soon be as 
useful and bright as ever." 

" By Monday, Doctor ? " questioned Lily, 

" Ho, no, indeed, my little woman ! You will 
not have much use of this peeper for a week or 
ten clays to come. Even if you could see out 
of it, you must keep quite quiet, lie here on the 
bed or on the sofa, and be petted and nursed 
for a few days, or this little head may give 
you some trouble." 

Lily looked as if something was giving her 
a good deal of trouble now ; for as the doctor 
spoke, her face grew longer and longer, and 
now she burst into tears again, as she sobbed 
out, — 

" My petticoat ! mamma, my orphan 
petticoat ! " 

" Hallo ! " said the doctor, " what is that, I 
should like to know ? I have heard of a good 
many kinds of petticoats, but I never heard of 
an orphan petticoat before. But this will not 

208 Lily JVorn's 9 Enemy, 

do, rny child. You must lie down and keep 

" Do not trouble yourself about the petticoat 
now, darling," said her mother, gently lay- 
ing her back upon the pillow, from which she 
had started up in her distress, " I will arrange 

" But, mamma," said Lily, piteously, " you 
know you said — you said that you could not 
let Nora finish it for me, and — and — oh, dear! 
— you couldn't break your word, you know, 
and my orphan child won't have any petticoat, 
and it was all my old Pro, and so what can I 
do ? Oh, if I only didn't have Pro ! I b'lieve 
he's my worst enemy." 

" What is all this about petticoats and pro's, 
Mrs. Norris ? " said the doctor. " Put her 
mind at rest if you can, or we shall be having 
headache and fever." 

" Lily, darling," said her mother, "you must 
set your mind at rest about the petticoat. You 
certainly cannot finish it now ; but I shall not 
let the little orphan suffer. By and by I will 

A Sad Accident. 209 

see what is best to do, but now you must talk 
and think no more about it. Mamma will 
arrange it all for you, and you will make your- 
self worse if you fret." 

" Dear mamma," said Lily, " I should think 
you would want to arrange not to have such a 
bothering little thing as me for your own little 
girl; only I don't s'pose you do. I b'lieve 
mammas generally don't." 

" Hush, hush, my darling," said her mother, 
whose own heart was swelling with gratitude 
that a Higher Hand had " arranged " that her 
dear " little bothering thing," as Lily called 
herself, was not to be taken from her, but that 
she was still spared to be the joy of all who 
loved her, the " sunbeam" of the home that 
would have seemed so dark without her. 

Lily obeyed the soothing touch of her moth- 
er's hand, and, confident that she would find 
some way to help her out of her trouble, said 
no more of the unfinished task. But it was 
upon her mind for all that, as was proved 
when the evening wore away, and the fever 

210 Lily Nor r is* Enemy. 

and light-headedness the doctor had feared 
came on. A very slight illness was enough to 
make Lily light-headed, and the blow she had 
received was by no means a slight one. So it 
was not strange that it should have that effect. 
And she talked pretty wildly about petticoats 
and puppies, work-boxes and rocking-horses, 
and had many bitter words for her enemy Pro ; 
and all her mother could say would not soothe 

But at last she grew more quiet, and the 
poor little bruised head ceased to wander, and 
she fell asleep ; and when she awoke in the 
morning, her mind was as bright and clear as 

But her face was sadly disfigured, and one 
eye was quite closed up, so that it was plainly 
to be seen that Lily would not have much use 
of it for some days to come. All this would 
pass away in time, however ; swelling and dis- 
coloration would disappear by and by ; and, 
happily, the cut upon her head came where 
the scar would be hidden by her hah'. 

A Sad Accident. 211 

Somewhat to Mrs. Norris' surprise, My said 
no word of the petticoat all the next day ; but 
she was very glad that it was so, and took 
pains to avoid any thing that might turn her 
thoughts that way. Lily did think of it, how- 
ever, although she said nothing ; and she 
could not but wonder now and then how 
her mother would contrive to help her without 
breaking her word. But she felt languid and 
ill, and it was a trouble to talk, so she let it go 
for the present, believing as usual that it 
would come right somehow. 

But on Monday morning, when Nora was 
dressing her, the nurse said, — 

" Miss Lily, darling, I am just going to ask 
your mamma to let me finish your petticoat for 
you. I think she'll excuse you this once, since 
you cannot do it for yourself." 

" No," said Lily earnestly, " you must not 
ask mamma, Nora, 'cause it would only give 
her the uncomfortableness of saying no. She 
told me she would not let the little orphan 
suffer for my fault, and she will find a way to 

212 Lily JYorris' Enemy. 

make it right, though I don't know what it is, 
and I am too ashamed to ask her. But you 
know she said very surely and pos-i-tive-ly, 
Nora, that she would not let you finish it, 
if it was not done through my putting off; 
and that was the reason it was not done on 
Saturday morning, as it ought to have been. 
I know I cannot do it now myself, but I 
could have done it before ; and mamma can 
not break her word." 

Lily concluded with a sigh, for she really 
did not know what plan her mother could have 
for helping her, and she was very anxious, 
though, as she said, too much ashamed to ask 
any more. 

But it so happened that Mrs. Norris over- 
heard this conversation, and she was thankful 
to find how strong in her Lily was that sense 
of truth which would not allow her to believe 
for one moment that mamma could go back 
from her word under any circumstances. It 
was rather remarkable that with all her heed- 
lessness and volatile spirits, Lily was so strictly 

A Sad Accident. 213 

truthful and upright, for they never betrayed 
her into an equivocation, as carelessness and 
want of thought are too apt to do. 

The morning was not far gone before Lily's 
mind was set at rest on the subject of her 
petticoat, for her mamma came to sit beside 
her, and brought her work with her. 

And what was her work ? 

Lily noticed it in a moment ; a petticoat for 
a child, — not of such muslin as her own skirts, 
but coarser and stronger, just such as her 
" orphan petticoat " was made of. 

" Mamma ? " she said, with her eyes fixed 
upon the strips of muslin in her mother's hand. 

"Yes, dear," said her mother, " you know I 
said the little orphan must not suffer through 
you, and I told you Nora could not finish your 
petticoat, and send it as your work, if you did 
not do it yourself ; so I shall make this one, and 
send it to Miss Ashton in the place of the other." 

" And tell Miss Ashton, mamma ? " 

" Well, yes, dear, I must. Do you not think 
so ? " 

214 Lily JVbrrz's 3 Enemy. 

" Yes, mamma, and I s'pose the girls must 
know. Even if she don't tell them, I think I 
ought to when I go back to school. They 
ought not to think I was industrious and good 
like the rest when I just put off and put off 
until this sad accident came, and then I really 
couldn't do it ; " and here a great tear rolled 
down Lily's cheek. 

" My darling," said her mother, dropping 
her work, and bending over to kiss the sor- 
rowful little face, " mamma cannot bear to see 
you mortified and grieved, but she does want 
this to be a lesson to you, and to save you 
from future trouble and loss." 

" Yes, mamma, I know," answered Lily, 
" and it serves me quite right ; but it does 
make me feel very badly to know that all the 
other children can feel that the little orphans 
are having some good of their kindness, and 
they do not have one bit of mine." 

Mrs. Norris hesitated before she spoke again. 
She felt as if she could not bear to have her 
poor child so hardly punished now when she 

A Sad Accident. 215 

was suffering, and had just escaped such a 
great danger. She could not let Nora finish 
the petticoat, but why not finish it herself, she 
thought, as well as make another, and send it 
to Miss Ashton with a message from Lily that 
she had not done the whole of it herself ? 

Just then came a knock at the door, and, 
being bidden to enter, Robert brought a note 
for Miss Lily, saying the messenger waited 
for an answer. 

" It is Maggie's writing, I think," said Mrs. 
Nor r is. 

Lily raised herself, and held out her hand. 

" You cannot read it for yourself, dear. 
Shall I do it ? " asked her mother. 

Lily assented, and, opening the note, Mrs. 
Norris read as follows : — 

" Dear Lily, — We are so sorry for you, all 
of#us, but we are so very happy you were not 
killed by Sir Percy Hotspur, who is very nice 
to play with, but not nice to fall underneath, 
and we are glad you are not such a victim as 

216 Lily Nor r if Enemy. 

that. But, Lily, dear, we do not know, Bessie 
and I, if you have finished your petticoat for the 
orphan child. We did not ask you on Satur- 
day because we thought if it was not done you 
wouldn't like to say so, but we thought 
perhaps the reason you did not speak about it 
was because a 'burnt child dreads the fire,' 
which means people don't like things that 
bring them into trouble, or to speak about 
them. So we thought it was quite probable 
that it was not done, and we know you cannot 
finish it now, for yesterday we met Dr. Banks 
when we were coming from church, and he 
said you could not go to school, or use your 
poor hurt eye for a good many days. So, dear, 
if you would let me finish it for you, I would 
be very glad, and Bessie will too, and you can 
send it to me by Patrick. And you need not 
think I will have to do it all in my play-time, 
for mamma says I can do it in my sewifcg- 
lesson to-day, which is half an hour, and if 
there is any more, I'd just as lieve do it after- 
wards, and the heart which would not do that 

A Sad Accident. 217 

is not worthy of a friend, but ought to be like 
a man we read about the other day who lived in 
a tub and was cross to everybody. And do you 
believe, people called him a wise man ! ! ! 
Which shows they must have been very stupid 
people in those days to call such an old cross- 
patch wise, and I'm glad I was never acquainted 
with him for I would not consider him fit to 

" So ask your mamma to send me the petticoat 
if it is not done, that my true friendship may 
have the pleasure of finishing it. From your 
esteemed friend, 

"Maggie Stanton Bradford. 
" P. S. If a pretty bad button-hole would be 
any relief to your feelings instead of strings, I 
would just as lieve make one, but it don't look 
very nice." 

%p have seen Lily's eyes — or rather her eye, 
for you know there was only one to be seen — 
as her mother finished reading this letter to 
her! to have seen the pleading of her poor 
little face ! 

218 Lily JVbrrzs 9 Enemy. 

" Well, dear," said her mother, smiling hack 
in answer to the unspoken question that was 
written in every line of her Lily's countenance. 
"Well, dear, shall we accept Maggie's offer? " 

" Oh, mamma ! if you think I might," cried 

" Yes," said her mother, " since dear Maggie 
is so good as to offer, and give up her time to 
you, perhaps I will let you accept. But, my 
darling, I do not want you to forget that here 
again the consequences of your habit of pro 
crastinating are falling on another. Maggie is 
doing the work which should have been done 
by you, and although, I am sure she does it 
willingly, and with all her heart, dear little 
friend that she is, still you must own that it 
is hard she should have her own share, and 
part of yours too." 

" Yes, mamma," answered Lily, penitently, 
" and I know I don't deserve to have any*of 
the work I have done go to the orphan that has 
no father or mother, and I am very thankful 
to darling Maggie. And, mamma, I think 

A Sad Accident. 219 

I ought to ask you to write a note to Miss 
Ashton, and let her tell the other children that 
I did not do the whole of the petticoat, or it 
would not be quite fair. 'Specially, mamma, 
'cause some of them said I wouldn't have my 
petticoat done, and I scorned what they said, 
and was very sure of myself. So it would be 
more true, I think, to tell them how it was." 

" Yes, darling," said her mother, glad that 
her little girl was so truthful, and unwilling 
to take any credit that was not rightly her 
own ; and then she kissed her, and, bringing 
the unfortunate petticoat, rolled it up, and 
sent it away to the dear little sunbeam who 
was so ready to shed light and comfort 
wherever she had the power to do so. 



I|||^|||HE~RE was a good deal of bustle and 
IPf 111 exc itement, as you may imagine, on 
— Tuesday morning, when Miss Ashton's 
little scholars came, each with her respective 

Poor Lily of course was not there ; it 
would be many a day yet before she was able 
to come to school, but all the others were in 
their places, and very anxious for the lessons 
to be over. Nor were Maggie and Bessie 
there during school-hours ; but they were to 
come afterwards, and bring the little garments 
they had made. 

Lily's New Resolve, 221 

"Let's see who finished her work first," 
said Gracie. " Dora, when did you finish 
yours ? " 

" Saturday morning," answered Dora. 

" Pooh ! " said Gracie, " how long you were. 
Nellie, when was yours done ? " 

" Last night," answered Nellie ; " and I was 
very glad I had not taken a petticoat, for I 
could not have finished it." 

Gracie only looked her contempt, but she 
did that so plainly that it might have placed 
her in the ranks of the anti-politers quite as 
readily as rude and scornful words could have 
done. Nellie felt it, colored, and looked hurt. 

" Belle, when did you finish yours ? " 

" I perfer not to tell you," answered Belle, 
with magnificence. 

" Why ? " asked Gracie. 

" If your guilty conscience don't tell you, 
it's no use for me to speak about it," replied 
Belle, with well-deserved severity, supposed 
to be kept within the bounds of courteousness. 

Gracie gave her head a little toss, as much 

222 Lily JVorris' Enemy. 

as to say that Belle's opinion was quite 
beneath her notice; but that her " guilty con- 
science" did accuse her" was to be seen from 
the fact that she questioned no more of her 
classmates, but said conceitedly, — 

" I finished my petticoat the very Saturday 
after I took it ; " and then looked about her 
for the applause which no one had the mind 
to offer. 

It was strange that the frequency of the 
disappointments of this nature which she 
received did not teach Gracie that those who 
sought the most eagerly for food for their own 
vanity were not the most apt to receive it; 
but her insatiable self-conceit needed some 
severe teaching before it would lose its hold 
of her, and such slight blows as these were 
without much effect on the still increasing 

" I am sure I could easily have made two if 
I had chosen," continued Gracie. "It is 
nothing so very great to make a petticoat in a 

Lily's New Resolve. 223 

"I don't know," said Nellie, who seldom 
bore malice, " I think it is pretty well for little 
girls to make one in two weeks. I am slow, 
I know, but as Lily said, — poor dear Lily, — 1 
am a steady tortoise after all, and have done 
my task in time." 

" Is Lily's petticoat finished ? " asked Mabel. 
" Does any one know ? " 

No, no one knew ; but more than one 
thought it quite likely that Lily would be 
behindhand. They knew her ways well. But, 
before they had time for much more conversa- 
tion on the subject, Miss Ashton came in, and 
the business of the day began. 

Twelve o'clock came, bringing with it 
Maggie and Bessie, who also brought each 
the little garment she had completed ; and, 
school being at an end, the children gathered 
about Miss Ashton to have her verdict on 
their work. 

Belle's bag was the first to be examined, 
and Miss Ashton pronounced it very well done 
for a little girl who was but just learning to 

224 Lily Norrif Enemy, 

sew. There were some long and crooked 
stitches, it is true ; but they were tight and 
close, and showed that she had taken great 
pains. So did Bessie's ; and Mabel's also 
was considered a success. Carrie Ransom's 
did not show quite as much care, but it would 
pass. So much for the bags made by the four 
lesser children ; and now Miss Ashton turned 
to the petticoats. 

" I have here a note from Lily," she said, 
" which I shall read first. She sent it to me 
this morning, with her work, and a request 
that I would tell you what it contained." 

" Oh," said Gracie, " I suppose she has not 
finished her petticoat. She never does things 
when she ought to, and she is always behind- 
hand. I finished my petticoat on the first 
Saturday, Miss Ashton." 

Now, would you not have thought that 
Gracie disliked Lily, and was glad to have 
the chance of showing up her faults ? But it 
was not really so ; for if you had asked Gracie, 
she would have told you that she was fond of 

Lily's Nevj Resolve. 225 

Lily, and thought her on the whole a very good 
little girl. But Gracie's habit of comparing 
herself with others to their disadvantage gave 
her, not only the appearance of great conceit, 
but also of constant fault-finding with her 

Miss Ashton took no notice of her speech, 
but opened the envelope, and took out the 
note, which Mrs. Norris had written at Lily's 

" Miss Ashton," repeated Gracie, " I finished 
my petticoat Saturday before last, every stitch 
of it." 

" Yery well," said Miss Ashton, coolly, and 
without farther attention, read aloud : — 

" Dear Miss Ashton, — I think I ought to 
tell you that I did not do all my petticoat my- 
self, and it was not all because of my hurting 
myself, but because I did not do it in good 
time, but put off until I had left a good task 
for the last day, when my eye was so hurt I 
could not sew. But dear Maggie had her's all 

226 Lily Norris* Enemy, 

done, and so she had time for a kindness, and 
she finished mine ; but I thought I ought to 
do myself the mortification of telling you 
about it, for fear you and the other children 
should give me praise I did not deserve. 

" And now I am very sorry I was so sure of 
myself to be so certain I would not fall into 
my bad habit again, which I find is not cured, 
as I said it was ; but I have to try very hard 
yet. And I know the other children will 
think I thought myself very great, and I am 
ashamed of it, and of my procrastination too, 
dear Miss Ashton, which you told me would 
give me great trouble, and mamma too, and I 
see it. So please excuse me, and my eye and 
my head are better, thank you ; but the doctor 
says I cannot use my eye for a good many 
days, and my head aches some yet. 

" Please give my love to all the children, and 
tell them to come and see me. 

" From your affectionate little scholar, 

"Lily Norms." 

Lily's New Resolve. 227 

If Lily's schoolmates did imagine that she 
thought herself " great," not one of them said 
so ; and the reading of her letter was followed 
by many expressions of affection and sym- 
pathy, mingled with admiration for her straight- 
forward honesty, which would not let her 
receive credit which was not her due. 

However, when Miss Ashton unfolded the 
petticoat sent by Lily, and examined the sewing, 
it was found that, wanting though she might 
have been in punctuality and industry, Lily cer- 
tainly deserved praise for the manner in which 
her work was done. It was extremely neat 
and even for such a little girl ; and both her 
own share, and that completed by Maggie 
Bradford received much approbation from Miss 

Maggie's petticoat merited a like meed of 
compliment, and Nellie Ransom's apron, 
which came next, was pronounced remarkably 
well done. 

" Why, Nellie, my dear," said Miss Ashton, 
looking with surprise at the neatly laid gathers, 

228 Lily JVorrzY Enemy, 

even hems, and regular stitches, " is it possible 
that you did this all yourself? " 

" Yes, ma'am," answered steady, painstaking 
Nellie, who, although she was perhaps less 
quick than any of her schoolmates, was seldom 
or never behind the rest, for the reason that 
she was so industrious and earnest, — "yes, 
ma'am. An apron was not very much for me 
to do, but I wanted to be sure and have it 
nicely done." 

" And, indeed, you have," said Miss Ashton, 
still examining the apron with pleasure. " I 
must give you the credit, Nellie, of saying that 
I never saw a piece of work better done by 
any child of your age. I do not know that I 
I would have done it as well myself." 

" Mamma takes great pains to teach me to 
sew nicely," said Nellie, dimpling and flushing 
with pleasure at her teacher's praise. 

" And you must have taken great pains to 
learn, my dear," said Miss Ashton, laying her 
hand on that of the modest little girl. 

Two or three others received their share of 

Lily's New Resolve, 229 

praise, some more, some less, according to 
their merits, though all were fairly done ; and 
then Miss Ashton came to Grade's petticoat. 

That it gave her far less satisfaction than the 
rest of the little garments had done, was 
plainly to be seen by her countenance, as she 
examined it. 

" Why, Grade, my dear," she said, " is it 
possible that you can sew no better than this ? 
No, it is not ; for I have seen your work before, 
and know that you can do better if you choose. 
Why, Gracie, the stitches are not half as neat 
as those of the very little girls, and this band 
will not hold at all. It is impossible for me to 
give in such work as this. See here ; " and as 
she drew the stitches slightly apart, with not 
half the strain that would come upon them in 
the wearing, they parted and ripped, showing 
with what extreme carelessness the work had 
been done. 

I do not think Miss Ashton would have said 
as much to any other one of her little scholars ; 
but she thought that this mortification and 

230 Lily JVorrz's' Enemy. 

blow to her self-conceit would do Grade no 

" My dear," she continued, " you have not 
taken time enough to do your work properly. 
Another time, better less haste and more care, 
Gracie. I shall have to take out almost the 
whole of this, and do it over myself, for I 
should be ashamed that our little orphans 
should have the example of such work. Your 
mother was away, I know, so that you could 
not go to her for help ; but could you not ask 
some other person to show you how it should 
be done ? " 

" I should think I might know how to make 
a petticoat," said Gracie, rather saucily. 

" It seems you do not," replied Miss Ashton, 
gravely. " As I must do this over, you cannot 
expect that it should be given in as your 
work, Gracie." 

Gracie tossed her head, and looked very 
angry, muttering, she "did not care," then 
burst into tears, saying it was " too bad," and 
" real mean," and she knew " it was just as 

Lily's New Resolve. 231 

good as the rest, only Miss Ashton never 
would think she did any thing fit to be seen," 
and altogether allowed her temper and 
wounded vanity so far to get the better of 
her that Miss Ashton bade her leave the room. 

I am glad to say, however, that a few mo- 
ments' solitude and reflection in the cloak-room 
brought her to her right senses; and before 
she went home, she returned to her teacher, 
and begged her pardon for the temper and 
disrespect she had shown. 

" But my work was finished long before any 
of the other children's, Miss Ashton," she said 
once more, after the lady had assured her 
she was forgiven, giving her at the same time 
a gentle, and, alas ! too oft-repeated warning 
against the hold her besetting sin was gaining 
on her temper and character. 

Miss Ashton shook her head. 

" But it is all thrown away, and worse than 
thrown away, Gracie," she said, " for it will 
need more time for me to take it to pieces and 
do it over again than it would have taken to 

232 Lily JVorrt's 9 Enemy, 

make it myself at once. I can give you no 
credit, my child, for striving to outstrip your 
schoolmates, merely that you might have the 
pleasure of saying that you had done so. You 
are severe with Lily for her want of punctu- 
ality and promptness ; but too great haste, 
especially when it springs from a bad motive, 
is perhaps as bad. And, Gracie, Lily sees and 
acknowledges her fault, while you will not." 

Gracie hung her head, but she was none the 
more convinced ; and, in spite of her confession, 
went home, thinking herself hardly used, and 
Miss Ashton very unjust. 

With the exception of Gracie, there was 
not one of the little work-women whose sewing 
was not at least passable, and her garment 
tolerably well made ; and they were dismissed, 
well satisfied with the praise they received, and 
the knowledge that their own self-denial and 
effort had helped those who were in need. 

Mrs. Norris had begged that Maggie and 
Bessie would come and see Lily that afternoon, 
as she was now well enough to receive them, 

Lily's New Resolve. 233 

and tell her all that had taken place in the 
morning ; and accordingly they presented 
themselves in Lily's room, bringing with them 
their dolls. 

" My dollies haven't had their dresses 
changed since Saturday, before I was hurt," 
said Lily, at the sight of the last-mentioned 
young ladies. " Will you dress them for me 
while you tell me about this morning ? " 

Dolls and dolls' clothes were brought forth, 
Lily possessing a multitude of both ; and the 
two little sisters fell to dressing the neglected 
children of an invalid mamma. 

" It wasn't putting off this time," said Lily, 
apologetically, " for I really did seem to be so 
tired every time I tried to do any thing, even 
play, that mamma told me I had better lie 

" Yes, we know," said Bessie, " and even if 
it was procrastination, dolls don't really suffer, 
so I s'pose it's not much harm to put off doing 
things for them. It don't hurt," she added 
thoughtfully, as she drew a comb about three 

234 Z,ily JVorris* Enemy, 

inches long through the flowing locks of the 
waxen Georgianna upon her lap, — "it don't 
hurt to put off play and pleasure, I believe, but 
only duties, and things that will do good to 

" Yes," said Lily, rather ruefully, as if she 
wished that pleasures and duties might alike 
fall under the same head, " so I find most 
people think. The trouble of it, and what 
makes it so hard is, that when a duty and a 
pleasure both come at once, it 'most always 
seems right to take the duty first ; and I like 
pleasure so much better than duty that I 
expect that's the reason I procrastinate so 

" I believe that's the case with most people," 
said Maggie, putting on her wisdom cap to 
suit the solemnity of the conversation. " I find 
the human race generally like pleasure better 
than duty, 'specially if the duty is very 
disagreeable, and the pleasure is very nice." 

" That's the way with me, anyhow," said 
Lily, with a sigh, as she lay back upon her sofa 

Lilfs JVew Resolve, 235 

pillows once more. " And sometimes, even 
when the duty is not very disagreeable, I feel 
like putting it off, just because I know I ought 
to do it, I believe. That petticoat was not so 
very horrid to do, and yet I let every thing put 
me away from doing it, till at last you know 
the consequence." 

" Miss Ashton praised your petticoat very 
much, anyhow," said Maggie. " She said you 
had done the most of it, and it was all 
well done." 

" She praised Maggie's part too," said Bessie, 
unwilling that her sister should not receive her 
full share of credit, " and she said the button- 
hole was even better than that on Maggie's 
own petticoat." 

" Practice makes perfect, you know," said 
Maggie. " Miss Ashton said not one piece of 
work was better made than that petticoat, 
except Nellie's apron, and that was the best of 
all. Miss Ashton seemed quite surprised at it, 
it was so very nice. And I don't mean to tell 
tales about Gracie, but you would hear about 

236 Lily JVorris 9 Enemy. 

it, J suppose, when you go back to school, so 
we may as well tell you, 'cause you want to 
know about every thing." 

And between them, first one taking up the 
tale, and then the other, Lily had soon heard 
a full and particular account of all the occur- 
rences of the morning. 

" And did not any one say hateful things 
about me when Miss Ashton read my letter, 
and they knew I had not done what I was so 
sure I would do ? " asked Lily. 

" No indeed," said Bessie. " We wouldn't 
have listened to them if they had wanted to ; 
but then no one would say an unkind thing 
about you when you were so honest and true, 
Lily. They were only sorry for you, and didn't 
seem to think you were naughty one bit." 

" But I was," said Lily, " and I'm never 
going to boast myself again, for I do feel too 
ashamed when I think how sure I was 
that I would do so much. I don't believe I 
ever will cure myself of procrastination, do 

Lily's Nezv Resolve. 237 

" Why, yes," answered Bessie, " if you try 

" I'm sure I did try," said Lily, u but it was 
no use. If I did not forget so easily, I 
think I would not have so much trouble from 
procrastination ; but, you see, sometimes I leave 
a thing just for one moment, at least I mean 
to come back in a moment, and then I never 
think any thing more about it. That was the 
way the puppy found my petticoat lying on the 
floor, and dragged it about till it had to be 
washed before I could sew on it, and then it 
was too late." 

" I used to be just as careless as that," said 
Maggie ; u and though mamma says I have 
improved a great deal, and am pretty neat and 
careful now, yet I find it hard work still, 
and I have to make a rule for myself not to 
leave a thing one moment after I know I ought 
to do it, or else I am almost sure to forget. 
I don't always keep that rule yet," she added, 
rather remorsefully, " but it helps me, and 
makes me better than I used to be." 

238 Lily JVorris' Enemy. 

" Is that what cured you of carelessness ? 
for I don't think you are much careless now," 
said Lily. 

" Yes," said Maggie, slowly, " that — and 
— and " — here she fell into a sudden fit of 
bashfulness at her own confession, and Bessie 
had to help her out of it. 

" Partly that, and partly because she asked 
Jesus to help her," said the little sister. 
" And He did, 'cause He always does if we 
really and truly ask Him. Did you ever ask 
Him to help you, Lily ? " 

" What, about putting off ? " said Lily. 
"Why, no, I never thought much about it — 
and — besides — it seems such a queer tiling 
to pray about, and to ask Jesus to help you in. 
It is not a sin, you know. It does make me 
sin sometimes," she added, thoughtfully, as 
she recalled various naughtinesses into which 
her sad habit had led her. "Oh, if you knew 
something it had made me do, you would think 
I was too horrid ! " She was thinking of the 
way in which she had spoken to her mother 
but a few days since. 

JLily^s Aew Resolve. 239 

" Well, then," said Bessie, tenderly, " is n't 
that a reason for asking Him ? I don't b'lieve 
Jesus thinks any thing is no matter if it makes 
us do something that is wrong, and I don't 
b'lieve He thinks even a bad habit is a little 
thing, and I'm sure He'll help you if you only 
ask Him." 

" Sometimes when I was praying, I have 
thought maybe I had better ask Jesus not to 
let me put off," said Lily, " but I did not think 
much about it, and it hardly seemed worth 
while, and I generally thought I could do 
it some other time." 

Lily said these last words in rather a shame- 
faced manner, as if she were mortified to 
recollect and confess that she had allowed her 
failing to come even between her and the 
Great Helper. 

" But you will ask Him now, won't you ? " 
asked Bessie anxiously. 

" Yes, I will," said Lily earnestly, and as 
if she really meant it ; and I am glad to say 
that she kept her resolution, and " put off " 

240 Lily JVofris' Enemy. 

no longer asking the help which could not, and 
would not fail her. And receiving what she 
sought, as all shall do who seek it in truth, 
and in the right spirit, and continuing also to 
strive with the temptation of the moment 
which bids her postpone the duty before her, 
our Lily is gaining the victory over the enemy 
which brought her into so much trouble, and 
had more than once led her so far astray. 

Cambridge : Press of John Wilson and Son.